Do not cut DFID – abolish it!

In: Uncategorized

4 Jul 2010

It is amazing that no significant voices have challenged the coalition government’s decision not to cut spending at Britain’s Department for International Development (DFID) – its development ministry. In these economic harsh times it might be expected that some would argue it should share the burden of austerity along with everyone else.

The official reason to protect DFID’s spending is that it is line with Britain’s international commitments. But such promises have been broken many times before.

In reality the importance of DFID is that it helps gives the British elite a sense of purpose in the world. It can feel it is doing something positive to “save” Africans and others.

In my view DFID should be abolished rather than cut. If anything it is a barrier to genuine development in the poor countries of the world.

I am in favour of transferring funds to poor countries for development but not via DFID or any of Britain’s non-governmental organisations. It should be up to poor countries to decide how best to spend aid in line with their development priorities.