David Cameron’s Proudest Achievement in Government
“£11bn foreign aid budget is my proudest achievement” says PM after amount given to poorer nations rockets by more than 30%. But there are many who believe foreign aid does nothing to help the poor and needy but instead benefits large international corporations supporting “sustainable Agenda 21 policies” so loved by the World’s financers.
April 2014 – Anti-poverty group World Development Movement attacks Government for ploughing £600m into project warning of ‘corporate scramble for Africa’
Millions of pounds of taxpayers’ cash will be funnelled into a “scandalous” scheme to help big businesses boost profits in Africa at the expense of local farmers, say campaigners.
Anti-poverty group the World Development Movement attacked the Government for ploughing £600m into a project it warns will fuel a ‘corporate scramble for Africa’. The money, part of Britain’s £11bn-a-year foreign aid budget, will be used to back the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition. The scheme, under the auspices of the G8, claims it will lift 50m people out of poverty by 2022 in countries such as Tanzania, Mozambique and Malawi.
But the World Development Movement said the true beneficiaries will be multinational companies such as food firm Unilever and controversial US genetically modified chemicals group Monsanto. This is because African countries that want to receive aid will have to change their laws, making it easier for corporations to buy up huge tracts of farmland, the WDM said. Countries taking part in the scheme will also have to earmark crop harvests for export, instead of using them to feed starving local people, it said.
WDM campaigners said the scheme would lead to increased land-grabbing by big firms, soaring costs for small-scale farmers and much-needed food being shipped out of impoverished countries. Nick Dearden, director of the WDM, said: ‘It’s scandalous that UK aid money is being used to carve up Africa in the interests of big business. This is the exact opposite of what is needed, which is support to small-scale farmers and fairer distribution of land and resources to give African countries more control over their food systems.
“Africa can produce enough food to feed its people. The problem is that our food system is geared to the luxury tastes of the richest, not the needs of ordinary people. Here the British government is using aid money to make the problem even worse.” http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-2596266/600m-UK-aid-leave-African-farmers-worse-off.html
The rating will come as a blow to Justine Greening, the international development secretary
May 2014 – Change to overseas aid ‘poor value for money’
A government drive to boost economic development overseas has been rated poor by the aid watchdog. The government has shifted the focus of the UK’s £10 billion aid programme towards helping countries to end their dependence on aid by encouraging business and growth. It plans to double its private-sector development aid to £1.8 billion by 2015-16.
A report by the Independent Commission for Aid Impact found that some initiatives made a positive impact, but it said that the programme had not “turned it’s high ambitions into clear guidance to develop a realistic well balanced and joined up programme http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/politics/article4090101.ece
Justine Greening, the international development secretary, has chosen to end Britain’s support to countries such as India
October 2014 – Corruption stops British aid from reaching poor
Britain’s efforts to tackle corruption overseas have had little success and are failing to meet the needs of the poor, the UK aid watchdog has warned. In a damning report, the Independent Commission for Aid Impact said that there was “little evidence” that taxpayer-funded programmes had reduced corruption levels. In at least one instance, a project not only failed to tackle bribery but actually increased the scope for it to occur. Nigerian police stations taking part in a scheme to reduce bribery were no more trusted – or less trusted – by the public than those outside their remit. http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/politics/article4253458.ece
Britain spends almost three times more per head on aid than the United States
March 2015 – Britain is biggest spender on aid agencies overseas
Britain gives more taxpayer money to international aid agencies than any other country in the world, despite having virtually no control over how the cash is spent, it is revealed today. An investigation by the Commons international development committee suggests that the government is seeking to meet its target of spending 0.7 per cent of GDP by flooding agencies with cash. Britain spends almost three times more per head on aid than the US with £179 per person against £64. http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/politics/article4388880.ece
I’m just off to Waitrose to get some food for the weekend. I shall consider it a successful trip if I manage to spend at least £250. That would, of course, be a ridiculous way to approach shopping. What most of us do is to decide what we want and then try to get it for the lowest price. So why, then, does the government define it’s success in overseas aid mostly in terms of how much it has managed to spend, not what it has achieved with the money. http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/opinion/thunderer/article4373763.ece
Somalians queue for food at a refugee camp in Mogadishu
March 2015 – Aid handouts ‘are a waste of money’
Officials at the Department for International Development have been criticised over their “weak management” and “poor supervision” of programmes for security and justice in developing countries. The department’s services are not effective and do not provide value for money, according to a report which is flagged amber-red by the overseas aid watchdog. The Independent Commission for Aid Impact criticised the department’s provision of police training, police stations and victim support services in unstable countries, claiming that it was not making enough of a difference to the lives of the poor. http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/uk/article4372477.ece
April 2015 – Overseas aid must rise by £1bn in next two years, says Europe
Spending on overseas aid is set to soar by an extra £1 billion over the next two years under new rules set by the European Union, it emerged yesterday. The Department for International Development (Dfid) is preparing to change accounting methods to bring Britain in line with EU countries which will make it much harder to meet the controversial aid target in the next parliament. The UK already spends more than any other country on international agencies and is the second largest aid donor in the World. http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/politics/article4401041.ece
April 2015 – Britain has no say how agencies use taxpayers’ £6bn
Britain’s decision to give more than half its £12 billion aid budget to international agencies with no control over how the money is spent is to be investigated by the overseas aid watchdog. The move follows concerns that Britain is “shovelling” at least £6 billion a year into agencies such as the EU, the UN and the World Bank because the government does not have the time or the resources to pick its own projects. Britain now spends more on these international agencies than any other country in the World,including the USA. http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/politics/article4414083.ece
April 2015 – Mis-spent Money
One of the coalition’s woollier ambitions in 2010 was to make Britain a soft power superpower. To this end David Cameron set a goal of spending 0.7 per cent of gross domestic product on foreign aid. He has stuck to this goal even as GDP has grown. Indeed, his government has enshrined it in law with the support of every major party, even as defence spending slips below the level Britain needs. The result has been a rush to spend taxpayers’ money without due oversight, fuelling corruption in the developing world and lining consultants’ pockets at home. http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/opinion/leaders/article4413904.ece
April 2015 – Revealed: scandal of squandered overseas aid
Britain is paying professional aid staff up to £1,000 a day to work in Africa and Asia as part of a spending frenzy to meet a government target. Spending on consultants has doubled in the past four years to £1.4 billion, with the bill for outside help now eating up more than 10 per cent of the aid budget. http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/politics/article4414250.ece
April 2015 – Corruption claims halt police aid for Afghanistan
Britain has suspended payments to a multi-billion pound aid project in Afghanistan following allegations of corruption and mismanagement of a UN-led payroll contract. The government has already spent about £22 million of aid money over the past four years to help to fund a system to pay the 155,000 strong Afghan police force, vital to security after the withdrawal of British troops. It had also been planning to raise its contribution to 70M this month. http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/uk/article4414097.ece
Philip Hammond, the foreign secretary, has ordered yet another review
June 2015 – Foreign aid money being spent on ‘lonely fish and fashion shows’
Philip Hammond, the foreign secretary, has ordered a review into the use of the Foreign Office’s aid budget in response to reports that it has not been used effectively. An investigation by The Sun found that the aid money has funded projects including a £970 course in responsible Facebook use in Laos and a £3,400 programme to find female mates for endangered Madagascan fish. http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/politics/article4479725.ece
June 2015 – British aid ‘paying for foreign armies’
Billions of pounds of British overseas aid is helping to subsidise the defence budgets of developing countries, MPs have claimed. Research from the House of Commons Library found that defence spending had increased in some of the countries that were the biggest recipients of British aid. The figures suggest that the money could have helped at least four countries to keep their defence budgets above the international benchmark of 2 per cent of GDP. http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/politics/article4462323.ece