UK aid has huge impact in other countries: here’s how much


9:03 am - March 20th 2012

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contribution by Joe Powell

The build-up to the budget provides an annual boon for fact-free analysis and conjecture. The UK’s spending on aid does not escape this problem. Commentators arbitrarily suggest numbers for a more ‘reasonable’ aid budget without any consideration for the impact their proposed cuts would have.

For the first time ONE has analysed all of the UK’s bilateral and multilateral aid spending commitments and the results give an estimation of our aid will achieve.

It’s easy to get lost in the millions, but the overall picture is one of transformational change for some of the poorest people on the planet.

This is just some of what that report contains.

UK aid would:

  • Put 15.9 million children in school
  • Provide over 80 million children with vaccines against life-threatening diseases, saving an estimated 1.4 million lives
  • Help 44.9 million people participate in freer and fairer elections
  • Support over 40 million people with prevention or treatment for malaria, including distributing 26.6 million bed nets
  • Provide access to safe drinking water to over 17 million people
  • Help 77.6 million people access formal financial services, such as bank accounts or credit, which are the basics needed to start a business
  • Allow 5.8m births to take place in a safe environment, saving the lives of over 50,000 mothers
  • Provide 633,000 people with life-saving treatment for HIV
  • Ensure better nutrition for 9.6 million people

For people of all political persuasions this should be a wake-up call. There has been a recent tendency to characterise the UK’s aid spending as frivolous, economically inefficient and prone to corruption. Much of it has been driven by the debate over aid to India.

However, the reality is spending on aid delivers huge results for a relatively small amount of money – less than the UK population spends on edible food which is thrown away.

The job of aid should be to put itself out of business. That’s why focusing it on catalysing private sector growth is not something NGOs should be afraid of.

It’s also why it’s vital we close tax havens and tackle the illicit financial flows which have cost Africa hundreds of billions of pounds of their own resources.

Similarly we can improve the transparency and accountability of natural resource companies listed on our stock exchange – empowering civil society in Africa with the information they need to hold their leaders accountable for revenues coming from oil, gas and mining.

But for all that it remains too soon to begin winding down aid spending. The inconvenient truth is that there are countries where even if the entire budget was focused on health and education there would not be enough to cover the needs of every citizen.

While that remains the case we should be proud of the difference our taxes are making to the lives of people at the very bottom of global society.

—-
The full report can be found here. You can join in the discussion on Twitter via the #bigdifference hashtag.
Joe Powell is the UK Policy and Advocacy Manager at ONE.

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Reader comments


“UK’s aid spending as frivolous, economically inefficient and prone to corruption.”

Yup. That about gets it in one.

If you can sit there in your plush armchair and say we are having an impact on Africa good for you.

Let’s talk when you have pulled your head out of the sand. Take it from someone whose entire heritage is based in Africa and who actually understands the complexities. The aid provided by western governments is doing NOTHING. If anything it is perpetuating poverty and is used to appease UK voters, makes them feel happy inside.

The UK has the conceited and blind stupidity to believe that vaccinating people and handing them rice does anything for their societies. The UK has the ignorance to imagine that we can create peace in a place that has been at war for 6000 years. The arrogance is astonishing.

The idea that we have to “help our African friends” just proves this arrogance. They can help themselves and had being doing so for centuries until the West turned up and started demeaning them by treating them as the poor cousins. The West has turned Africa into a hand-out-continent and therefore condemned them to extreme poverty for another millennia to come.

someone whose entire heritage is based in Africa and who actually understands the complexities.

Interesting – this sounds like someone worth listening to.

The aid provided by western governments is doing NOTHING.

Ah. Complexities FAIL.

I get the argument against simply handing people rice. This is only appropriate in during real emergencies; the rest of the time the priority should for societies to become self-sufficient… precisely as the OP says, in fact.

But you’re against vaccination? You think that does ‘nothing’? Clown.

On reviewing the report, it becomes clear that the figures for what the aid will achieve are somewhat aspirational…

Aid can be useful – vaccinations, mosquito nets etc, as well as pump-priming private initiatives (as Joe notes). It is not normally useful if it is channeled through governments (allowing corruption, and perhaps more problematically, the entrenchment of political elites) or does not seek to produce a situation where aid is no longer needed (famine relief aside – although the best way to avoid famines in Africa is to stop near subsistence level food production). So it is a matter of how aid is used and its aims – it might be possible to produce a more effective aid plan with less spending for example.

Aid is also a long-term investment (if it works) in that if it produces healthy, richer, people, it produces markets with which we can trade. So aid is hardly just giving money away – there is a vested interest there. That said, that does not mean we have to stick to a particular level of aid spending – I would seriously hope that spending is not done to get rid of a budget but rather on a what is sensible, helpful and even tactical, but this does not sound like a government department to me.

4. So Much For Subtlety

2. Larry

But you’re against vaccination? You think that does ‘nothing’? Clown.

It is entirely possible that the WHO’s vaccination programmes are what allowed HIV to escape from the fringes of the jungle in West Africa to become the global problem it is today.

So yes, it is possible to claim just that.

5. So Much For Subtlety

Haiti has more NGOs per head of population than any other country in the world. Japan, on the other hand, does not. Both have recently suffered major catastrophes. The Japanese have rebuilt their country. All those NGOs have not been able to rehouse the Haitians. Nor have the Haitians dome much to rehouse themselves.

Who says aid works?

All this would be more convincing – and I regret even having to bring it up – if this wasn’t Bono’s charity doing the demanding. A joint venture between Bono and people like Warren Buffet and Bill Gates in fact. According to their last filing, ONE raised almost £10 million pounds. And gave just over £100,000 to another charity to do good work. They paid themselves over £5 million in salaries.

I think it is best to ignore them.

So Much for Subtelty,

It is entirely possible that the WHO’s vaccination programmes are what allowed HIV to escape from the fringes of the jungle in West Africa to become the global problem it is today.

Erm, how does this work? All I can see are the possibility that the vaccination programme officials slept with locals or reused needles from the vaccination outside the area (even in a period of needle resue, that sounds unlikely). And it’s not as if the margins of the rainforests were ever not connected with the rest of the world anyway – they’ve always been areas of trade (as liminal areas tend to be).

SMFS, a more accurate statement would be

“It is entirely possible that the [withdrawal of the] WHO’s [smallpox] vaccination programmes are what allowed HIV to escape from the fringes of the jungle in West Africa to become the global problem it is today.”

But of course, I’m long past expecting any approximation to accuracy from you.

Still, it makes a bit of a difference, doesn’t it?

@2

No. I am against vaccination in its current form. For every action in Africa you are going to have an amplified reaction. These can take years, they can even happen in a different part of the continent.

When you vaccinate against things that can easily be vaccinated against but which kill thousands (Typhoid for instance) you land up with all these people who are not dying of Typhoid, but who are still starving to death, and who are now shooting each other for food. Not only that, you have ‘entrepreneurs’ starting self styled Typhoid clinics for a small fee, and who are actually injecting filthy water for a small fee. You also land up with the witch doctors telling the population that vaccination is bad and that all they should do is drink a cup of home brew and they will be fine. You then also have the dictators who take aid and then sell it back to the population, or even back to western countries black markets at knock down rates.

Your idea that we can waft into these countries and solve their problems is the precise type of arrogance that got Africa into this mess. The only type of aid that should exist, is that of education. Not studying WWII or where Japan is. Practical, real life education provided by locals. It will be through the creation of gainful employment and productivity that Africa will be able to buy the vaccines it needs, import the food that its now irrigated fields can’t produce and understand the damage the governments of Africa are doing to their citizens.

It is convenient for the dictators of Africa to keep their population uneducated as that way they maintain power. It is also useful for the western world to keep Africa uneducated for cheap labour and the prosperity of western countries. Hand out aid perpetuates this and ensures that Africa is never self sufficient. Think about this next time you by a Cameroonian banana and the cost that has of denying an African a proper education.

Your idea that we can waft into these countries and solve their problems

Except that I don’t have that idea. You made it up. I’ve already acknowledged the complexities of the aid-politics. You’re the one with the simplistic world-view, that aid is all bad, achieves ‘nothing’, and that’s that.

you have ‘entrepreneurs’ starting self styled Typhoid clinics for a small fee, and who are actually injecting filthy water for a small fee. You also land up with the witch doctors telling the population that vaccination is bad and that all they should do is drink a cup of home brew and they will be fine.

And this is attributable to the presence of genuine vaccination programmes how exactly?

Anyway, hell, you should be in favour of people injecting themselves with ditch-water. After all, it’ll likely kill them, which will save them from later starving to death or getting shot.

Sorry, pal. Someone who thinks we should abandon millions of people to death from easily & cheaply preventable diseases doesn’t get to lecture me about the benefits of education, or the politics of shopping for bananas.

10. Chaise Guevara

@ Larry

“Sorry, pal. Someone who thinks we should abandon millions of people to death from easily & cheaply preventable diseases doesn’t get to lecture me about the benefits of education, or the politics of shopping for bananas.”

Agreed. I’m sure aid is genuinely awful according to Freeman’s view that Africans dying is awesome.

11. paulnewman

It is quite an amazing fact that when the government is putting hard working familes out of their homes, reducing spending on education et al, and telling us ( quite correctly )we cannot afford to borrow, we are in fact borrowing billions extra and sending it straight out of the Economy for some charitable give-away.Tax Breaks versus Public Sector Salaries was a stupid phoney debate but tax breaks versus throwng it in the sea is a non starter.
We do not have money for bleeding heart vanity spending and those who do are more than welcome to pop it in the Oxfam box .There is zero support for the whole thing from the people whose money is appropriated whether or not throwing money at it does any good. I doubt it does, if it did then the slums of Glasgow would be vibrant economies and our schools would not be slithering down the charts.

How about instead of aid we work at proper, non-exploitative trade agreements with the west that actually mean the people of these countries aren’t robbed twice with the same hand that gives them this paltry aid?

“Similarly we can improve the transparency and accountability of natural resource companies listed on our stock exchange – empowering civil society in Africa with the information they need to hold their leaders accountable for revenues coming from oil, gas and mining.”

Here is where my big political beef with aid comes. How exactly can westerners ‘empower’ someone elses civil society? What this does is undercut genuine grass roots movements and retards a genuinely democratic society from emerging. Outsiders cannot stamp out corruption long term, the only way its possible is for the population to agitate, shape and form their own institutions and methods to hold leaders or whoever to account. Did Britain rely on do-gooding post-politicals to oversee democratic reform? No, if aid groups must definately have a smaller brief, Otherwise the political system in place relies on outsiders to interfere or umpire the internal affairs of a sovereign people and nation state.

14. Chaise Guevara

@ 11 Paul Newman

“is quite an amazing fact that when the government is putting hard working familes out of their homes, reducing spending on education et al, and telling us ( quite correctly )we cannot afford to borrow, we are in fact borrowing billions extra and sending it straight out of the Economy for some charitable give-away.”

Amazing indeed. A small indicator of the okayness of humanity.

“Tax Breaks versus Public Sector Salaries was a stupid phoney debate but tax breaks versus throwng it in the sea is a non starter.”

You heard it here first folks: foreigners all live in the sea!

15. Joe Powell

Thanks for the comments – a few reactions:

@3 Yes, these are expected results looking forward – that was the point of the report. We were frustrated that while people talked about other government departments in terms of police numbers or teachers, when discussing the aid budget it was seen as an accounting exercise with no consequences. On budget support there are difficulties in some countries – agreed – but where government works well I think there is a place for us to support it directly, rather than through NGOs.

@5 ONE does not fundraise from the general public, and we do not receive any government funding. We are funded almost entirely by a handful of philanthropists on our board of directors to raise awareness and pressure political leaders to fight extreme poverty through smart and effective policies and programs.

@11 I suggest you look at the model tax payments many papers have published today – less than 1% of your taxes go on aid programmes. Given the results described above is that really too much? http://www.one.org/international/blog/?p=8454

@13 I was not talking about undercutting genuine grassroots movements but supporting them. A large number of the world’s biggest oil, gas and mining companies are listed in London – if they publish what they pay African governments surely it helps civil society? No judgements about governance or what is corruption – simply putting information out there for people to use.

Joe,

In your post you write,

UK aid would…

I find the language somewhat confusing. Is this a typo? You make it sound as though this is some hypothetical counterfactual, rather than an accounting for the actual effects of aid. But you then go on to make very specific claims for the actual effects of UK govt aid. So there seems to be a contradiction there. Could you clarify? What did UK govt aid in fact achieve? Or, if you do not set out to account for this, why does your post bear the legend, “UK aid has a huge impact in other countries: here’s how much”?

I will take it as given that you meant, “UK aid has” for the rest of my comment.

It seems like you have summarised some effects or outcomes that are indeed worthy and are hard to object to in and of themselves, but I find that there is some context lacking and would like to ask for further clarification.

What is the purpose of the UK aid flow and how well has UK aid done in living up to this purpose?

What are the costs of UK aid flows to countries that receive them? (For instance, in terms of embezzlement, support for dysfunctional structures that otherwise might be superseded, etc).

Are these “other countries” dependent on UK aid flows? I read your post as implying that they are and so wonder what steps are being take to reduce their dependence, whether this s expected to be a natural occurrence that arises simply out of the sequence of aid flows themselves and where we are in temporal or sequential terms with respect to that goal.

What is the impact of UK aid flows on growth in the countries that receive the aid? How are aid flows recalibrated in response to this impact?

Thanks

Joe,

@3 Yes, these are expected results looking forward – that was the point of the report. We were frustrated that while people talked about other government departments in terms of police numbers or teachers, when discussing the aid budget it was seen as an accounting exercise with no consequences. On budget support there are difficulties in some countries – agreed – but where government works well I think there is a place for us to support it directly, rather than through NGOs.

Two comments. Firstly, and more simply, it might have been better to point out the figures above were projected in the article – it puts people in a bad frame of mind to find out that figures presented to them are not reality but supposition, so it’s best to be up front about this.

Secondly, how do we define where government works well? The level of government corruption in some supposedly developed European countries is very high, so it is unlikely to be better in less developed countries in general (without such developed forms of overview and justice). Also, government has a soverign right to makes its own decisions – we undermine these by making their acceptance of aid dependent on their compliance with terms, so unless we give aid without condition (not a good idea) I cannot see how this is a useful way of doing things. Perhaps this is ideological – I do not see government as the answer – but it should be pointed out that government has hardly ever been the driver for long-term economic improvement (at least relative to charity and entreupreneurship)..

18. paulnewman

Don`t be sanctimonious Chaise; it shows the generosity of humanity with other peoples` money which was never in doubt. The people who are robbed do not like it ( see below )
The point about the sea is that Aid costs double. Money we borrow should at least circulate in the Economy even if it is wasted on the least useful part of the nation.This money directly reduces demand whilst increases borrowing at the same time so it is about as dumb an idea as it is possible to have and increasing it now is treating ordinary people with nauseating contempt

This was published by Lib Con from Don Paskini

…YouGov survey asked people to decide “If the Government did decide to cut back on its plans for spending, which two or three of these would you most like it to cut?”.. The results were as follows (people were allowed to pick up to three) :
Payments to international bodies such as the United Nations and European Union 72
Overseas aid 67
Welfare benefits and tax credits for poorer families 10
Child benefit 7

So that’s 67 to cut International AID and 7 to cut Child benefit. In fact we are,cutting Child benefit to anyone so “wealthy” as to have a mortgage and children to support on over £42,000.About 20% above average for a working man with dependents in employment in the South Welfare has also been treated brutally, public sector unions are still purring though.

We need an election and we need a political class in touch with reality . We do not get out of bed and go to work to send the money off on a fucking Blue Peter Appeall .

19. paulnewman

Where did that go ? 1% of taxes .. or about 10% of the deficit.Its a vast sum

Don`t be such a sanctimonious prat Chaise it shows the generosity of humanity with other peoples` money which was never in doubt. The people who are robbed do not like it ( see below )
The point about the sea is that Aid costs double. Money we borrow should at least
circulate in the Economy even if it is wasted on the least useful part of the nation.
This money directly reduces demand whilst increases borrowing at the same time so it is about as dumb an idea as it is possible to have and increasing it now is treating ordinary people with nauseating contempt

This was published by Lib Con from Don Paskini

…YouGov survey asked people to decide “If the Government did decide to cut back on its plans for spending, which two or three of these would you most like it to cut?”.. The results were as follows (people were allowed to pick up to three) :
Payments to international bodies such as the United Nations and European Union 72
Overseas aid 67
Welfare benefits and tax credits for poorer families 10
Child benefit 7

So that’s 67 to cut International AID and 7 to cut Child benefit . In fact we are,cutting Child benefit to anyone so “wealthy” as to have a mortgage and children to support on over £42,000.About 20% above average for a working man with dependents in employment in the South . Welfare has also been treated brutally , public sector unions are still purring though.

20. Chaise Guevara

@ 18 paul newman

“Don`t be sanctimonious Chaise; it shows the generosity of humanity with other peoples` money which was never in doubt. The people who are robbed do not like it ( see below )”

You do realise that this sort of thing only works on libertarians, and that I’m not one? I’m quite happy for rich people to be taxed for the benefit of poor people.

“The point about the sea is that Aid costs double. Money we borrow should at least circulate in the Economy even if it is wasted on the least useful part of the nation.This money directly reduces demand whilst increases borrowing at the same time so it is about as dumb an idea as it is possible to have and increasing it now is treating ordinary people with nauseating contempt”

I can think of few things less indicaticive of contempt for ordinary people than saving their lives.

“This was published by Lib Con from Don Paskini ”

Appeal to majority.

“We need an election and we need a political class in touch with reality . We do not get out of bed and go to work to send the money off on a fucking Blue Peter Appeall .”

Firstly, this isn’t an issue of “reality”; it’s a subjective moral issue. Your opinion is not natural law. Secondly, your characterisation of life-saving aid as “a fucking Blue Peter Appeall” does nothing but reveal how callous you are.

21. Joe Powell

@16 – yes it should be clearer. Our report is only looking at the next four years, analysing various plans DFID has. The results are contingent on the government maintaining its spending plans on aid. Your other questions are perfectly valid. However, as this was designed to be a short piece looking at projected future result and not a study on UK aid in its totality, we didn’t include those wider discussion points.

@17 please see above – in the report itself we are very clear but yes, this blog could have been clearer. On the role of the state – interesting question. I think when we see government operating badly we could all agree that it shouldn’t be supported. But the experience of East Asia shows some very strong states helped promote economic growth and development – we shouldn’t rule out that model for Africa. Perhaps one idea is instead of old fashioned conditionality, or imposing a certain type of democracy, is to say that principles of transparency and accountability should be upheld if UK aid is to support government spending directly.

22. paulnewman

The people taxed to spend on your pet charities are not rich and an appeal to the overwhelming majority is not irrelevant in a tax paying democracy .If the amount that preening patricians can rob us all of is to be established by International need then you will clearly not feel justice has been done until we are all on about £5k per annum. Good luck with that .

It has nothing whatsoever to do with morality , it has to do with whether the state can or should force us to make donations to charities on our behalf. I `

23. Chaise Guevara

@17 paulnewman

“The people taxed to spend on your pet charities are not rich”

Generally far richer than those who benefit. But since you ask; yes, we should rejig the tax system so it takes less from the poor and more from the rich.

“and an appeal to the overwhelming majority is not irrelevant in a tax paying democracy”

It’s not irrelevant, but it doesn’t tell you what’s right.

“If the amount that preening patricians can rob us all of is to be established by International need then you will clearly not feel justice has been done until we are all on about £5k per annum. Good luck with that .”

Just because a bigger response would be non-viable does not make a viable smaller response invalid. The stuff we’re talking about – vaccines and so on – are cases where we can save or greatly improve lives for a shockingly small amount of money.

“It has nothing whatsoever to do with morality , it has to do with whether the state can or should force us to make donations to charities on our behalf.”

It’s gonna be interesting to watch you resolve what the state “should” do without invoking morality. You’re on the wrong side of the is/gap to claim that morality has nothing to do with it.

Three general comments:

1. Having travelled extensively in India and in the Mahgreb and a little in sub-Saharan Africa (Zambia, Botswana, South Africa, Senegal and the Gambia), I would say some aid works very well. What works particularly well is aid provided by charities (the smaller, often the better), with government approval, directly to the recipients. What works least well is government-to-government aid, which often ends up in the hands of national, regional or local kleptocrats. Give generously to the development charity of your choice!

2. Africa is no longer a ‘basket case’. The continent is beginning to grow and will soon boom. Increasingly, African governments are recognising the advantages of their colonial inheritance and embracing the rule of law and liberal values. Some African societies provide outstanding examples of multi-racial/tribal tolerance, despite linguistic differences: for example, the Gambia.

3. I would prefer ALL aid to be via charities working on the ground. Let’s give generously to them. But until UK governments cease to borrow, and balance their budgets, I think all government aid should cease.

And a note to my (2) @24:

Multi-lingual and multi-tribal societies like the Gambia cohere because they have one dominant culture — Islam. Multi-culturalists please take note.

26. paulnewman

I didn`t ask; and if you mean that the people paying are much nastier than you, then thanks for your input Geldoff you may feel free to weep.
It is staggeringly large amount of money, people are entirely justified in feeling their first duty is to themselves and their family and that is the clear view of the overwhelming majority, whatever Party they vote for.
If you wish to spend your weekend rattling a tin outside Tecos,I expect you `ll get a small amount ( which is all you say is required) from the many decent and generous people you despise.
Fine ; lets do that then and wipe 10% off the deficit.
Glad we sorted that out

Okay I missed a trick not fully recognizing this is a ONE article, and therefore is quite a bit different from ID oriented charities. However, my point still stands, even by helping people access that information you are doing key political work for the people you want to help. Christ, if people dont clip through journals, reports and politically demand that companies in their backyard open up, then how the hell are those people ever going to make a better and more democratic society?

“ONE does not fundraise from the general public, and we do not receive any government funding. We are funded almost entirely by a handful of philanthropists on our board of directors to raise awareness and pressure political leaders to fight extreme poverty through smart and effective policies and programs.”

Board of Directors? Handful of philanthropists? Anyone else think ONE sounds exactly like an post-Political elite driven lobby group that people should actively be sceptical about?

28. Chaise Guevara Travel Edition

@26

Nastier than me? What are you blathering about?

Rattling a tin outside Tesco doesn’t raise enough money, obviously. If it did, this conversation would not be necessary.

Of course people who feel otherwise are entitled to their beliefs. I’m simply starting where I stand. In terms of human benefits, Must usages of tax funds are far lessees efficient that vaccination schemes.

29. So Much For Subtlety

6. Watchman

Erm, how does this work? All I can see are the possibility that the vaccination programme officials slept with locals or reused needles from the vaccination outside the area (even in a period of needle resue, that sounds unlikely). And it’s not as if the margins of the rainforests were ever not connected with the rest of the world anyway – they’ve always been areas of trade (as liminal areas tend to be).

I am sure they were areas of trade. But AIDS really does need more than isolated examples of heterosexual sex to spread. Even isolated examples of homosexual sex in all probability. It needed something like the Gay Bath houses of San Francisco. I mean re-using needles. Why do you think it sounds unlikely? No one knew. No one took especially care when sterilising their needles. Now we know. We would not be so careless. Innocent times.

Larry

SMFS, a more accurate statement would be

“It is entirely possible that the [withdrawal of the] WHO’s [smallpox] vaccination programmes are what allowed HIV to escape from the fringes of the jungle in West Africa to become the global problem it is today.”

But of course, I’m long past expecting any approximation to accuracy from you.

In what sense is it more accurate Larry? They abolished smallpox. What was the point of going around vaccinating people against a disease that only exists in two laboratories in the former USSR and California? What is more, how do you think a vaccination against smallpox protects against HIV? I would love to know how you figured that out Larry.

Still, it makes a bit of a difference, doesn’t it?

Not to my opinion of your work.

30. So Much For Subtlety

15. Joe Powell

ONE does not fundraise from the general public, and we do not receive any government funding. We are funded almost entirely by a handful of philanthropists on our board of directors to raise awareness and pressure political leaders to fight extreme poverty through smart and effective policies and programs.

Yes, I don’t think that absolves ONE of the charge that it is just a self-important and self-interested w@nk-fest. Well it was founded by Bono. So you admit they are not really a charity so much as a political lobby group. Which gets people like Bill Gates to give them money so they can pay people like Bill Gates to sit on their board. Weird. But I suppose it is a free country.

Again, the best response is to ignore them.

31. Reduced Salt

Hi Joe, can you ask one of your founders to pay his taxes please? The we can start to take him/you seriously.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2011/jun/03/u2-glastonbury-tax-protesters
Cheers! :D

32. So Much For Subtlety

28. Chaise Guevara Travel Edition

Rattling a tin outside Tesco doesn’t raise enough money, obviously. If it did, this conversation would not be necessary.

How do you know it does not raise enough money? Look at the work that the Bill Gates Foundation is doing for malaria. In what sense is it not able to do so?

And you get it back to front – the purpose of taking our money is not to help people in Africa. They help people in Africa in order to be able to take our money. The purpose is to fund Upper Middle Class Sloan Rangers in a variety of nice jobs that do not involve actual work – see the Landmine campaign et al.

Of course people who feel otherwise are entitled to their beliefs. I’m simply starting where I stand. In terms of human benefits, Must usages of tax funds are far lessees efficient that vaccination schemes.

I agree with the last sentence. But taking my money by force for something you think is morally worthwhile is not a humanitarian action. Using your own money is. However we owe the people of Africa nothing and so whether it benefits them or not is the wrong way to approach the subject. Does it benefit us? To some extent, so it is worth doing. Unlike, say, most else aid does.

33. Chaise Guevara

@ 32 SMFS

“How do you know it does not raise enough money?”

How much do you think a vaccination program covering 80 million people costs? Now, how many tins full of coppers do you think it takes to hit that number?

“Look at the work that the Bill Gates Foundation is doing for malaria. In what sense is it not able to do so?”

Isn’t that foundation part-funded by the world’s richest man, a person for whom your or my lifetime earnings would be a drop in the ocean? And there’s many, many things that need addressing beyond malaria.

“And you get it back to front – the purpose of taking our money is not to help people in Africa. They help people in Africa in order to be able to take our money. The purpose is to fund Upper Middle Class Sloan Rangers in a variety of nice jobs that do not involve actual work – see the Landmine campaign et al.”

To what end? And why are you privileging this theory over the alternative?

“I agree with the last sentence. But taking my money by force for something you think is morally worthwhile is not a humanitarian action. Using your own money is.”

Personally, I think the humanitarian benefit outweighs the costs here. And that’s without getting into whether or not all of “your” money is indeed your money (and let’s not get into it, as neither of us is going to convince the other).

“However we owe the people of Africa nothing and so whether it benefits them or not is the wrong way to approach the subject. Does it benefit us? To some extent, so it is worth doing. Unlike, say, most else aid does.”

Pretty courageous to go from “You’re not being humanitarian to me!” in one breath to “Let ‘em die, I don’t own ‘em nothing” in the next. There’s a lack of consistency here, I think. You’re not arguing from humanitarianism, you’re arguing from what sounds like a mix of absolute property rights and pride in being deaf to human suffering.

SMFS,

You said: It is entirely possible that the WHO’s vaccination programmes are what allowed HIV to escape from the fringes of the jungle in West Africa to become the global problem it is today.

Perhaps you don’t realise it, but that is one almightily serious charge to level at the WHO.

So: have you got any reputable source at all which backs it up?

And if the answer – as I strongly suspect – is ‘no’, will you have the honesty & decency to admit that you called that one spectacularly wrong?


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

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  2. Jason Brickley

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  4. Oxfam News Team

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  5. Nadia Idle

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  6. Patron Press - #P2

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  7. Gareth Winchester

    UK aid has huge impact in other countries: here’s how much http://t.co/QzWJhKFE via @libcon

  8. ririnyf5

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  9. leftlinks

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  10. Framabama

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  11. Hamm Alexander

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  12. Thomas McKenzie

    UK aid has huge impact in other countries: here's how much http://t.co/Luw8sZ54

  13. Joe Powell

    New @libcon blog: yes work on tax, transparency, accountability + growth but too soon to wind down aid http://t.co/bNdIa7s8 #bigdifference

  14. Chutney Ryan

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  15. Jonathan Taylor

    Worth a look RT @libcon: UK aid has huge impact in other countries: here's how much http://t.co/pFZ3ZznO

  16. Kate

    Worth a look RT @libcon: UK aid has huge impact in other countries: here's how much http://t.co/pFZ3ZznO

  17. maxlawsontin

    New @libcon blog: yes work on tax, transparency, accountability + growth but too soon to wind down aid http://t.co/bNdIa7s8 #bigdifference

  18. Simon

    UK aid has huge impact in other countries: here’s how much http://t.co/iA4KG5WB

  19. ONE campaign UK

    UK aid has huge impact in other countries: here's how much http://t.co/Luw8sZ54

  20. Claire Hazelgrove

    UK aid has huge impact in other countries: here's how much http://t.co/Luw8sZ54

  21. Ewan Gaffney

    UK aid has huge impact in other countries: here’s how much | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/Fpryeb8x

  22. Liberal Conspiracy

    @jon2aylor here you go http://t.co/Luw8sZ54

  23. Jonathan Taylor

    Abandon international aid target, peers tell ministers
    http://t.co/ZJdHuNpl (–absolute rubbish. see here: http://t.co/pFZ3ZznO





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