Since Malta’s accession to the EU, there has been significant progress in official development assistance (ODA). This increased by 65% in 2009 over the previous year. The country has created a promising framework for its commitment to poverty eradication in developing countries, the achievement of the MDGs and the promotion of good governance and respect for human rights. On closer examination, though, is not clear whether Malta is willing to implement its development agenda fully or only partially. The Government should develop clear criteria and processes with regard to project selection, expenditure and evaluation.
Although the Maltese economy seemed at first to be shielded from the global economic crisis, the effects are starting to be felt. Tourism is declining, and food and utilities have become more expensive. Opinion polls show that the Maltese are not confident of the immediate future, expecting deteriorating quality of life in 2009. The number of asylum seekers grows daily, and their plight tends to get worse.
David Vella
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