The UK is currently fighting to set an example for other countries when it comes to foreign aid. As the budgets of most British government departments are being cut, the country’s foreign aid budget will increase by more than a third in an effort to meet the UN target of devoting .07 percent of GDP to aid.
Justine Greening, the British International Development Secretary, has been defending the growth in aid in the face of conservative opposition. A pledge supporting the increased funding states that foreign aid is good for business; the Department for International Development will help improve business conditions for British firms abroad, benefiting both the recipients and British companies by promoting private sector activities in poor countries.
Specifically, the funds would be directed toward helping countries build their tax bases, reduce corruption and provide technical advice to facilitate economic growth opportunities.
The pledge was backed by some of the largest employers in Britain, including GlaxoSmithKline, BP, Morrisons, Dixon and Ikea, which claim that foreign aid is a “smart investment.”
The public opposition provides an opportunity for proponents of foreign aid to remind the world about the long-term benefits of this type of expenditure in terms of self-interest. Foreign aid is good for business from the donor country perspective because it helps create new markets abroad. It is a good investment that is worth defending, especially during difficult economic times at home.
– Caroline Poterio Martinez
Source: The Telegraph
Photo: PSU Masters of International Management Student Blog