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Foreign Aid

The subject of foreign aid has become quite contentious over the last decade or so as the list of countries that receive British aid has been revealed questions have been asked about the validity of such aid to certain countries and whether this aid should be used in Great Britain to help those in great need.

Democracy Great Britain is firmly behind the idea of stopping all aid for a period of two years for the following reasons: 1) The aid is often given to countries that seem not to need it, such as India and Pakistan both have nuclear weapons, and India received £95 million 2018, it also has a space program.

2) Many of the countries receiving GB aid are not democratic as we understand it and more often than not the aid goes into the hands of corrupt governments and despotic leaders or non-government military forces in the midst of a civil war.

3) No aid should be given without boots on the ground to protect aid workers and that in itself presents problems of sovereignty. 4) With something in the region of 12,000 veterans sleeping rough, those funds sent overseas should be used to help and improve the lives of veterans who risk their lives to protect this country. The GB foreign aid budget was £14.6 billion in 2018 although there has been a reduction according to Downing Street of £2.8 billion this year (still to be proven).

Figures from 2017 show that Britain was the only member of the G7 to meet the 0.7% target, according to statistics published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Saudi Arabia receives aid (although it is really a kickback for purchasing weapons). China received £55.6 in 2018. China’s defence budget was £133.39 billion last year and a year ago it became the first country to land a robotic spacecraft on the far side of the moon as part of its £6.39 billion drive to become a leading power in space exploration.

There will always be a need to assist countries with natural disasters and famine and Great Britain should assist on a case by case basis but only when GB boots on the ground are there as well.

After the initial two-year period GB should then put a certain amount aside for emergency assistance and target a certain number of countries that need help. It is impossible to help every country and one should select a few for intense help. The rest of the industrialised world needs to adopt the same strategy and one might actually do some good.

More on this to come.

Robin Jacob
Founder Member