Overseas Aid: Send our money where it is truly needed – Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Michael Gilbert, Upper Hagg Road, Thongsbridge, Holmfirth.

Should the Department for International Development be merged with the Foreign Office?
Should the Department for International Development be merged with the Foreign Office?

MICHAEL Meadowcroft gives a very wet account of how aid, in his opinion, is given and by whom when discussing the merger of DfID into the Foreign Office (The Yorkshire Post, June 29).

All aid comes from the UK people given on our behalf by the apparatus of the UK government. Aid should only be given where it can genuinely do good and help to alleviate and solve problems, and not be a sticking plaster.

It should only be given where it is really needed. Not helping China to stop smoking or to reduce obesity or help India in its space programme for instance. Nor should we be helping to promote democracy in countries that have no interest in democracy (most of the world it would appear).

Does Britain spend enough money on overseas aid?

And if local politicians are suspicious of aid being given by the “hidden hand of colonialism”, then that’s their problem and we should just walk away.

Our nation has been, and still is, extremely generous in giving out handouts to very dubious politicians and countries. We need to toughen up in our approach and learn to look after our own and those who truly need our aid. Maybe the FCO can instill a better directed, more limited aid programme than DfID has.

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James Mitchinson