New DFID chief must reverse hijacking of aid budget by corporate interests
Reacting to the appointment of Rory Stewart as International Development Secretary, Jonathan Stevenson of Global Justice Now said:
“Unlike his two predecessors, it’s a step forward that Rory Stewart seems to believe his new department should actually exist. But he faces a number of challenges, not least defending the aid budget from his own party.
“He must also look fundamentally at how the aid budget is spent. For too long, huge chunks have been diverted away from the mission of ending poverty - to dodgy security projects to private schools and hospitals run for profit in the global south. The hijacking of the aid budget by corporate interests must be reversed.
“Above all, he needs to demonstrate that the ‘Global Britain’ promised by Brexit does not mean a deluded attempt to re-create the British Empire. Instead, Britain must use its wealth to lift others up, not push others down in its own interests. This means not seeing aid as a sweetener for securing international trade deals. And it means tackling crucial global issues like inequality and climate breakdown in a way that recognises Britain’s historic role - in trashing the planet, stealing other people’s wealth, establishing tax havens and unjust global institutions - and its special responsibility to make amends.”