More than nine out of ten respondents in Portugal say that helping people in developing countries is important (93%) – this represents one of the highest levels across the EU. They are also amongst the most likely to agree that tackling poverty in developing countries should be one of the main priorities of the EU (78%). However, fewer than half of respondents say this should be one of the main priorities of the Portuguese government (47%).
Although 66% of respondents in Portugal think development aid should be increased to some degree (compared to an EU average of 68%), there has been a shift away from this view (-4 percentage points) and towards the views that aid should not be increased (+2 pp), or should be reduced (+5 pp). However, respondents in Portugal (85%) are the most likely, after those in Spain and Cyprus (both 88%), to consider development aid an effective way of tackling irregular migration.
Along with those in Lithuania, respondents in Portugal are the most likely to be aware of the European Year for Development (both 30%), and awareness has increased notably since 2014 (+11 pp). The proportion who have heard of the Sustainable Development Goals is just below the EU average (33% vs. 36%).
On average, Europeans consider peace and security (41%), health, and education (both 34%) to be the most pressing challenges facing developing countries. However, the picture in Portugal is slightly different. Here respondents are more likely to mention health (46%), economic growth, employment and social inequality (44% vs. 26%) and then peace and security (43%). They are less likely to mention migration issues (7% vs. 12%).
More than six out of ten respondents in Portugal agree that individuals can play a role in tackling poverty in developing countries (63%), although only 16% are personally involved in helping people in developing countries. Less than one in five (18%) are prepared to pay more for groceries or products from these countries: the lowest result across all Member States, after that observed in Bulgaria (15%).
Across the EU, younger respondents (aged 15-24) are generally more positive about development issues than older age groups (aged 25 or over). However, this trend is not evident in Portugal, where there are relatively few differences between these groups. That being said, it is worth noting that unlike the EU as a whole, younger respondents in Portugal are more likely than their older counterparts to be personally involved in helping developing countries (20% vs. 15%) and to think development aid should be increased (72% vs. 64%).
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