Aid

The Syria police scandal shows it’s time to reclaim aid from the private profiteers


04 December 2017
Aid

Today UK aid is on the front pages again for all the wrong reasons. As today’s headlines peddle yet another story of aid misused by private contractors, this time in a conflict zone, the anti-aid lobby have been handed an open goal by the government’s continuing attempts to divert aid away from its core purpose.

Aid
  • Syria case may be ‘tip of the iceberg’ for fund backing some of world's worst security forces
  • Secretive Conflict, Stability and Security Fund uses £500m of aid money
  • Government accused of using loophole to fund discredited consultancy

This morning the International Development Committee published its Special Report on Conduct of Adam Smith International (ASI).

MPs have today voted in favour of a controversial bill that development campaigners say would effectively privatise huge amounts of the UK’s overseas aid budget.

The Commonwealth Development Corporation Bill will enable DfID to quadruple the amount of money it channels through its private equity arm, the CDC group, from £1.5 billion to £6 billion. The bill would also allow the limit to raise to £12 billion without the need for further primary regulation.

MPs are set to vote tomorrow on a controversial bill that development campaigners say would effectively privatise huge amounts of the UK’s overseas aid budget. The Commonwealth Development Corporation Bill would enable DfID to quadruple the amount of money it channels through its private equity arm, the CDC group, from £1.5 billion to £6 billion.. The bill would also allow the limit to raise to £12 billion without the need for further primary regulation.

These shocking allegations against one of DFID’s biggest private contractors is the latest piece of evidence against the current drive to outsource more of the aid budget to expensive consultants in the UK rather than to address conditions of structural poverty and inequality in countries where it is needed.

From a luxury housing and shopping complex in Kenya, to gated communities in El Salvador, the CDC has an appalling record of funding developments in the global south that make a mockery of any notion of aid money going to help vulnerable communities that lack access to basic resources

Uganda's High Court has ordered the closure of a chain of private schools run by an American company, Bridge Academies International, over concerns about poor sanitation and its curriculum.

According to one report, the schools had received £5.5 million in UK aid money in the last year.

Priti Patel’s plans for foreign aid ‘could breach UK law’

25 October 2016

Priti Patel warns aid organisations must provide value for money or face cuts

25 October 2016

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The Syria police scandal shows it’s time to reclaim aid from the private profiteers


04 December 2017
Aid

Today UK aid is on the front pages again for all the wrong reasons. As today’s headlines peddle yet another story of aid misused by private contractors, this time in a conflict zone, the anti-aid lobby have been handed an open goal by the government’s continuing attempts to divert aid away from its core purpose.

UK aid money needs to stop going to 'unhealthy development'


27 September 2016

Global Justice Now is right to demand that the UK’s aid budget should benefit the world’s poorest, not big business.

The Privatisation of UK aid: How the UK’s growing aid budget has become a lucrative business


11 April 2016

It’s never been a better time to be an aid-funded business. Alongside the UK’s now legally enshrined commitment to spend 0.7% of its national income on aid, a growing trend has emerged where an ever-increasing amount of that budget is spent through private companies. DfID spends some £1.4 billion through private contractors annually, with most of it going to just 11 suppliers.

What's the point of 0.7% aid target if it gets spent on malls and luxury hotels?


21 July 2015

The news that the Department for International Development (DfID) is ploughing an additional £735m into its private sector investment arm, the CDC group, should serve as a serious wake up call for the slumbering development sector.

Radio 4 on UK's aid business

Future UK governments will now be legally obliged to give at least 0.7% of our gross national income in aid. This is great news, but unfortunately an increasing amount of aid money is going to support privatisation and private profits.

Maybe giving aid money to big business doesn't solve poverty. Who knew?


21 May 2015

In 2009 the Conservative party unveiled their new international aid agenda and stated that, “capitalism and development was Britain’s gift to the world.

Resources

Resource thumbail

0.7% on aid: a small contribution towards justice and equality

June 2016

There is more to fighting poverty and inequality than just giving aid. This briefing argues that to address the huge inequality of wealth and power that exists in the world, there needs to be fundamental change to the way the global economy works. Aid can play an important part, especially if it is understood as a form of international wealth redistribution.

Resource thumbail

Profiting from poverty, again

April 2015

The introduction of universal education, the increasing length of compulsory education, the creation of comprehensive schools, the foundation of the NHS – these are some of the greatest social achievements we have ever made in this country, and we remain rightly proud of them. The aid budget could be used to help others to achieve these vital components of a decent society where every life counts.

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The poor are getting richer, and other dangerous delusions

January 2015

In January ‘the great and the good’ meet in Davos, Switzerland to discuss how the world is changing, and how corporate executives and senior politicians should respond to these changes. At this meeting, these important people spend a great deal of time convincing each other that they are creating a more prosperous world than we’ve ever seen in history. Without their business practices, their overseas investments, their entrepreneurial talent and their philanthropy, you would easily imagine that we would all be much worse off.

Latest news

Aid
  • Syria case may be ‘tip of the iceberg’ for fund backing some of world's worst security forces
  • Secretive Conflict, Stability and Security Fund uses £500m of aid money
  • Government accused of using loophole to fund discredited consultancy

This morning the International Development Committee published its Special Report on Conduct of Adam Smith International (ASI).

MPs have today voted in favour of a controversial bill that development campaigners say would effectively privatise huge amounts of the UK’s overseas aid budget.

The Commonwealth Development Corporation Bill will enable DfID to quadruple the amount of money it channels through its private equity arm, the CDC group, from £1.5 billion to £6 billion. The bill would also allow the limit to raise to £12 billion without the need for further primary regulation.