Can we afford overseas aid in times of crisis?

25/08/2010 at 10:20 am 5 comments

Of course we can!

* Instead of not being able to afford overseas aid, we cannot afford to give less aid. The government has rightly indicated that for us to get out of this recession, we need to repair the damage to our reputation on the global stage. This reputation depends on our reliability and our willingness to honour our promises to the international community.

* Aid is now not less affordable than before. The aid target is set in % of national income, meaning the aid budget goes up and down in line with the economy. In other words, it is equally difficult in good times as in bad to adhere to the target; in both cases it’s not a case of affordability, but of courage of conviction.

* “Aid” is not a luxury, a pass-time for the rich. Aid is our “membership fee” for belonging to the international community of nations. It is a practical expression of our nation’s wish to cooperate with other countries and to help them weather the storms of global economic turbulence.

* Aid is not charity; it’s an investment in the future. By assisting other countries in their efforts to escape poverty, we are investing in future partnerships and future trade relations. Much like Ireland in the 1980s, developing countries will remember those countries that stood by them in their hour of need, and they will have a natural inclination to work and trade with them.

* Cutting the aid budget is short-sighted. It will do nothing for our own economy, but will have a dramatic impact on the world’s poorest people. The entire aid budget amounts to some 1% of the government’s current expenditure and cutting it will have virtually no impact on our national debt, or on the economic growth rate.

* In 1847, in the time of the Irish famine, a group of Choctaw Indians in the USA collected $710 – small fortune for these very poor and marginalised people – and sent it to help starving people in Ireland. In their poverty, the Choctaws reached out to an Irish nation in dire need. We’d do well to recall such generosity now, when 1 in 6 people on the planet does not have enough to eat.

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6,000 mosques in #Jordan will have rooftop #solar panels installed. "In an already fragile region, subject to the whims of the international oil market and regional unrest, Jordan relies on #fossilfuel imports to meet around 95 percent of its energy demand. Insert #renewables." This innovative new move to put solar panels on the rooftops of the country's mosques could make a huge difference to resources in the region. 
Find out more here: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/02/25/3626956/jordan-mosques-are-going-solar/ For many years Butaleja District in Eastern Uganda has been ravaged by flood waters from the River Manafwa.

To help protect people against the destruction of their homes and farmlands, the Government of #Uganda installed solar	powered Flood Early Warning Systems to warn residents of raising water levels.

Read more: http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Pages/TouchingLives.aspx?itemID=2 At "The World's Best News", we are trying to change perceptions of developing countries.
Well, here you go! 
See http://www.dardistantimes.com/pakistan/News/2133637675/17-astonishing-places-you-wouldn-t-believe-are-pakistan

Photo1: View of the Neelam Valley, Kashmir. One of the better tourist ranges in Pakistan, this valley is a 200km long bow-shaped, deeply forested region. At "The World's Best News", we are trying to change perceptions of developing countries.
Well, here you go! 
See http://www.dardistantimes.com/pakistan/News/2133637675/17-astonishing-places-you-wouldn-t-believe-are-pakistan

Photo2: Hunza Valley, Gilgit-Balistan. It’s nearly Spring, so we felt like sharing a few photos of Zimbabwe in bloom.

Photos: #Jacaranda flowers in #Harare, capital of #Zimbabwe Meet the man who built an aeroplane in his back yard.

George Mel has dreamed of flying since he was a boy, but when his father died he had to give up his studies, and any chance of training to be a pilot. 
Instead he built a plane in his back yard - which so impressed his country's air force that it gave him a job. 
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http://bit.ly/HansRosling_quiz Years of struggle against a small but feared #parasite are finally starting to bear fruit. 
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This has prompted multinational companies to team up with NGOs to organise farmers and promote the growing of barley, for use in locally produced beers.

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