Our International Aid Budget

David Cameron and other politicians are demanding we pay the sacred 0.7% in foreign aid, but quite how is this being spent?

It is, after all, eleven billion pounds and bearing in mind the cuts being forced on many of our own poor and unemployed, it?s important to know what we are spending it on.

First, I heard File on Four make allegations that a substantial portion of this money was being given to Turkey and also some other East European countries to help them develop their infrastructure so they could join the European Union. I wasn't too keen on this idea, especially as so many British people are having their benefits reduced. (Not to mention those who are being made redundant so money can be saved!)

Then Andrew Mitchell, Mr. Plebgate, was on the radio telling us that it was all being spent on the world's extremely poor people and therefore not only was it a necessary national expenditure - it was one we could be proud of. However, he didn't mention the allegations made by File on Four which was a surprise because this is a highly rated investigative programme and had aired only a few hours previously.

Today there was an argument on the Today Programme between an Oxfam representative and a politician about what proportion of this money should be spent on building schools and what proportion should be spent on the military whose job it is to secure an area before any schools can be built.

If we have a national population of 62 million I calculate that every year each of us is paying 176 each towards this sacred eleven billion. A family with four children is paying 704 a year, or over 20 a week, and I don't know of many families who can afford an extra 1,056 a year in charitable donations.

Do you?

So exactly what is this money being spent on, and who really benefits?

Do I get a faint whiff of something fishy here?

The top ten recipients of British Overseas aid according to the Channel 4 website are:

                               1: India             295m
                               2. Ethiopia          214m
                               3. Bangladesh        149m
                               4. Sudan             146m
                               5. Tanzania          144m
                               6. Pakistan          140m
                               7. Afghanistan       133m
                               8. Nigeria           114m
                               9. Congo (Dem Rep)   109m
                              10. Ghana             90m

                                  Total            1.534 billion.

What happens to the other 9.46 billion?

Who gets it?

What is it given to them for?

---February 21, 2013---

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