The false God of 0.7: understanding the Aid Business – By Richard Thomas | African Arguments
The debate about the UK aid programme has been heating up over the last few months. There is general agreement that we should respond to humanitarian disasters, such as famine or tsunamis, but the debate has now focused on whether we, the UK, should give 0.7% of our GDP towards our aid programme and whether this should be enshrined in law. The argument for an aid programme is strong, for reasons of self interest as well as morality, but the doubters are not short of powerful facts and difficult questions.
We will give £220m a year to the DRC in 2013-4, not a country with which we have close links, and one which according to Richard Dowden, has a government which is ‘unpopular, corrupt, rapacious and incapable of establishing effective institutions’. Other governments are not much better from the point of view of the poor. For example, why should we double our aid to Pakistan in the next two years when they do not bother to collect tax from the rich or give money to India when they have a space programme?