REGRETTABLY, there have been many disasters recently and I wonder if a change in thinking may be appropriate. As I understand it, our foreign aid policy presently hinges on a percentage of GDP.
If we got an annual breakdown of where the money goes – including to despotic leaders, corrupt political personnel and the like – I’m sure many a decent British citizen would shed a tear in anger.
Surely if a figure similar to the total current payouts were held in a pot, then rapid payouts could be made to supporting the likes of:
Experienced divers to go to Thailand in the recent rescue of the football team trapped in a cave.
Villagers left homeless in south-eastern Laos when a hydroelectric dam collapsed.
Assisting in combating the devastating forest fires that raged through seaside resorts near the Greek capital of Athens.
Surely urgent help like this is more important than a stop-smoking programme in some far-flung country? It wouldn’t matter if the pot wasn’t totally used up, it is the availability that matters most.