Humanitarian Aid & Development Aid.
Many people have become enraged at the government's decision to reduce the amount of foreign aid from 0.7% to 0.5% of GNI.
There was even a potential rebellion from Tory backbenchers who disagreed.
The trouble with the foreign aid budget is that it should be named as it is going to be spent. When it is just called foreign aid people will think that the whole of the 0.7% is spent helping those around the world who are most in need of it. This is a falsehood.
This is absolutely not what happens to your money, that is taken from you in taxation and then spent with you thinking it is being spent on those most needy.
Realistically when reporting these figures they should be separated out into the component parts that make up the whole.
The humanitarian part of the sum is the money that is spent on natural disasters including famine and earthquakes, in conflict and war zones to help those in need. It is only 16% of the whole budget that is spent on this area.
The other 84% is spent on development aid which is money given to the government's of the recipient countries to develop their infrastructure etc. This part is not spent on starving children or the food and water they so desperately need.
One prime example of this in practice is the development of St Helena in the mid Atlantic where £285 million of your money was spent building an airport that initially aircraft could not takeoff and land due to high winds and the runways allegedly being built in the wrong direction.
This was conveyed in an LBC interview with Esther McVey MP and is highlighted on the FullFact website:
ECONOMY / THE GOVERNMENT'S ROLE IN THE ECONOMY
'Was foreign aid money spent on an airport that doesn’t run flights?
12 JUNE 2019
WHAT WAS CLAIMED
Airports have been built with foreign aid money where planes can’t take off and land because of winds.
St Helena airport, which was built with £285 million of foreign aid, was unable to run commercial flights when it first opened due to wind shear on the island. But since October 2017 it has run commercial flights.
“We know airports have been built [using foreign aid] and actually the runways are in the wrong direction because of the winds… it’s in one of the continents abroad. We know we’ve got that airport where we can’t take off and land because of the winds, the cross winds there.”
Esther McVey MP, 11 June 2019' *
*source: FullFact website.
Some have speculated that this was also built as a strategic refuelling stop for the military for any potential conflicts in the Southern Atlantic.
Between 2008 and 2017 the UK was the only G7 nation to be hitting the UN target of 0.7% of GNI. The other six are generally below 0.5% with only Germany hitting 0.7% in 2016.
In 2016 Pakistan received £463 Million in Bilateral aid, a country which is developing its own nuclear weapons and has a space program. In the same year Jordan in the Middle East received £173 million. We must note
' Jordan produces 403.00 barrels per day of oil (as of 2016) ranking 114th in the world. Jordan produces every year an amount equivalent to 14.7% of its total proven reserves (as of 2016).' **
**source: worldometers website.
I am not saying we shouldn't send aid to those people who are in desperation through no fault of their own. When disaster strikes we should help with humanitarian aid.
What I do not agree with is spending copious amounts of money on projects in other countries when their are people on our own shores living in extreme poverty. This wasted development aid should be left in your hands, so if you so choose you can help those who you want to help, both at home and abroad by giving to your chosen charity.
The Government sleight of hand must stop.
Glenville Gogerly EADW - Libertarian Party Chairman.