Britain is to become, in the words of International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell, a “foreign aid superpower”. The Department for International Development’s (DfID) budget of £7.9 billion is one of a few select areas of government spending being ring-fenced from the coalition’s cuts programme, and David Cameron recently committed to increasing the budget still further.
It is known that a lot of DfID money is misspent, often given to despots without any real oversight (or serving to worsen the situation the aid is trying to repair, as occurred in the case of Ethiopia). However, this cannot and should not obscure the fact that some of it is spent well and, in those instances, it saves lives. Continue reading →