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UK Aid Budget to be spent on Defence?

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UK Aid Budget to be spent on Defence?

Post  mood2 on Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:01 am

Yesterday, the media suggested that the government is considering spending part of the UK’s aid budget on peacekeeping and defence.

Tell our politicians there can be Enough Food For Everyone IF they keep their promise on aid.

Up to now, the stance of the UK Government has been fantastic – it has protected the aid budget when every other G8 nation has not. But we need to send a clear message that diverting aid money to the military is not acceptable.

The aid budget is a very small proportion of government spending. The UK public expect it to be spent on hospitals, not helicopter gunships. Food, not fighter jets.

Your MP can keep the pressure on the government to ensure there is Enough Food For Everyone by making aid work for the world’s poorest people.

Please don’t underestimate your power to influence our politicians. Your MP works for you, and they have a duty to respond to your concerns. But they need to know how much you care about aid.

Email your MP and get them to act ahead of the Budget on 20 March.

For 40 years, our governments have been promising to spend 0.7% of national income on aid. It’s time they made good on their promise. So please act now. We need to show the world that we cannot stand by while people – mothers, children, babies – go hungry.

Proforma letter to email your MP


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Re: UK Aid Budget to be spent on Defence?

Post  Glob the Funct on Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:34 pm

It is a crumb off the table of the rich countries.

Nothing gets up my nose more than politicians boasting about the aid they give. If there was fair trade, there would hardly be any need for aid, outside of emergency situations.
The real problem is that much of the so-called aid is given in the form of overpaid consultants, so that this money actually never leaves the shores of the donor country. There are also string attached in terms of where the aid money can be spent. Yes, again there are provisions that the aid must be used to buy goods and services from the donor.
Worst of all is that much of the aid goes into arms to prop up 'friendly' regimes in the recipient countries - so the people don't benefit here either.
Then there are the 'Prestige Projects', where money goes into Airports, palaces, roads, dams, etc - that look really nice but are not required and don't help the people on the ground.

What's left?
A bit of grain that sits in government warehouses, which then gets distributed to areas that are politically compliant to the regime, or even worse sold by corrupt officials.

Sorry for the cynicism, but it's how I see it.
Glob the Funct

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Re: UK Aid Budget to be spent on Defence?

Post  mood2 on Tue Feb 26, 2013 2:16 am

I agree Aid isn't the solution, and there are a lot of problems with how it operates. But there's a risk of taking an overly negative view and ending up saying it's a complete waste of money (which it isn't) and should be stopped, rather than trying to improve it. For example much of UK overseas development funds don't go through governments, and there's no tying of aid to commercial contracts (tho it would be naive to think there's zero impact).

At a time when UK government spending at home is being slashed, there are a lot of people who think the govt shouldn't be maintaining the aid budget, pitiful as it is. And we should resist more covert attempts like this to divert it to cover shortfalls in other areas.


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