The British government pledged to ring fence its Overseas Aid of 0.7% of national income. To date the British public continue to ask why is that? In fact in a recent BBC Radio 4 interview , Andrew Mitchell The Secretary of state for International Development DFID had to answer the question
Why do 60% of UK public think overseas Aid is wasted? And if that is the case should we continue to send our hard earned cash overseas?
and his answer
If we do not send the money to help alleviate problems like poverty, extreme hunger, these problems will turn up on our door step
Does he have a point?
On the face of it he does. So the question is has our sending overseas Aid stopped these problems turning up on our door stop?
The answer is NO.
British people are generous and are quick to respond to calls of help when there is an emergency elsewhere and have responded generously to the crisis in the horn of Africa and that being the case why would 60% of them think that overseas Aid is wasted? This article in The Mail Online has some answers
I have previously asked the question Why do parts of Africa remain desperately despite the Aid that we send? and in another post I asked why India, a country that reportedly has its own Overseas Aid program has more poor people than some parts of Africa?
This all sounds to me like either
- Mr Mitchell has not not been effective at getting his message out there
- or that he needs to show us the UK public where our money goes in real terms and unfortunately for some that will mean that some of those “problems” he mentioned during his radio interview do not continue to show up on our door step
What do you think?
I am going to keep this post short to encourage discussion and will return to the topic in the next post – but in the mean time do join the conversation and don’t forget to invite your friends