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Britain freezes millions in aid to 16 countries after inquiry discovers they are actu

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by Babylon, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. Babylon

    Babylon JF-Expert Member

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    Feb 27, 2011
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    Britain freezes millions in aid to 16 countries after inquiry discovers they are actually no longer in poverty



    [​IMG] The inquiry was ordered by International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell

    Britain is to stop giving aid to 16 countries after a major review found they were no longer in poverty.
    Countries such as Russia, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Moldova and Serbia will be stripped of millions of pounds a year, following the inquiry ordered by International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell.
    Aid to India - which can afford its own space programme - will also be frozen.
    But vast amounts of extra money - 30 per cent of the entire aid budget - will be pumped into unstable terrorist hotspots such as Yemen and Somalia, in a bid to help them to crack down on citizens exporting violence.
    Critics will ask whether that is a wise plan, seeing there will be no way for Britain to check whether the money being poured in is spent wisely, rather than being embezzled by corrupt officials.
    Britain's aid budget is one of the few areas, that is protected from cuts, unlike defence, education and the police which are having to make deep savings.
    The total amount being spent on aid will soar from £7billion to £11billion in 2015 - at the same time as front-line public services here at home are being slashed.
    In an interview at the weekend, Mr Mitchell admitted that many of his constituents 'go ballistic' about the amount of British cash spent on overseas aid at a time of belt-tightening at home.

    His aid review into Britain's aid spending will report later that week. Mr Mitchell said the plan was to 'buy results' rather than 'lob money at problems' - that is setting targets and stopping aid if they are not met.
    And he is also likely to order the removal of funding from international organisations which have not delivered. For example, the £12million given to UN cultural body Unesco is likely to be axed.
    'From now on we will only give aid where we can follow the money and ensure that the British taxpayer is getting value for money,' he said.
    'Most international organisations are doing a decent job but some need to be shown the yellow card; others will frankly get the bullet. It's the mission of my department to focus ruthlessly on results, on delivering 100 pence of development value for every hard-earned pound of taxpayers' money.

    [​IMG] Political unrest in Yemen: 30 per cent of the entire aid budget - will be pumped into unstable terrorist hotspots such as Yemen and Somalia, in a bid to help them to crack down on citizens exporting violence

    'If one of my constituents is watching television and hears these [aid] announcements, particularly now, they go ballistic because they think about how the money could be spent here.
    'But if you determine it by results, about how you're going to get 200,000 more children cleaner water, people are up for that.'
    Mr Mitchell will also announce the first 'cash-on delivery' aid scheme in the world, with a scheme to get more Ethiopian girls into school.
    'We will only release funds once firm evidence of results has been seen,' he said.

    The International Development Secretary defended the huge amount spent on international aid at a time of stringency at home.
    'The reason why at this time of a dreadful economic inheritance, we made it clear that we won't balance the books at the expense of the poorest people in the world is because it is morally right to do so,' he said.
    'It's part of the British DNA to be there for those in desperate straits. But it's also very much in our national interest to tackle these effects of dysfunctionality and poverty, such as piracy, migration, terrorism and disease in Somalia. Tackling the causes of poverty upstream is much less expensive than sending in the troops.'
    Other countries which will lose their aid money are Bosnia, Iraq and Kosovo.
    Resources will be concentrated on the 27 countries that account for three-quarters of the world's maternal mortality and malaria deaths, such as Ghana and Afghanistan.
    By 2014, 30 per cent of UK aid is expected to go to war-torn and unstable countries such as Somalia and Yemen. And the UN children's charity Unicef will also see its UK funding double to £40million.
    But the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, the UN Industrial Development Organisation and Unesco will all lose out.
    A source at the Department for International Development said: 'It's been very hard
     
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