Louise Blackwood

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Louise Blackwood
Posted over 1 year ago
Can first world countries spend their overseas aid budgets more effectively?
It's such a conundrum - how can we justify spending so much money on aid for other countries when we know that a) a large proportion of that money will actually not reach those who need it - either through corruption or simply the logistical costs of running that kind of operation; and b) when economic strife and social issues are already so prevalent within our own country, let alone abroad. I think at the end of the day, even if just one tenth of what is spent on aid actually gets to its intended destination then it's worth it. Why? Because lives will be improved and saved and you cannot put a price on that. The work that needs to be done now is to optimise and improve the channels through which the money moves from government to its intended destination. This of course is easier said than done for a variety of reasons - for a start, the exact people who are proficient in managing this kind of process are also the ones who expect larger salaries! Organisational costs for running a program like this effectively can quickly spiral to a substantial % of the original sum. There is also a high amount of awareness and indignation around corruption in certain countries, when foreign aid cash is pumped in only for a senior government minister to purchase themselves a nice new car. Generally this is the exception not the rule, but this perception fuels unease around upping the amount of foreign aid we commit to. I'd personally like to see the process of getting aid to where it needs to be streamlined and as much of the "fat" cut off from around the edges as possible. Continuing to work with other governments around the globe to ensure this happens is also paramount. I totally accept that this will be neither quick nor easy to achieve! Hopefully, given time and investment we will continue to improve the situations of millions of people around the globe in an increasingly effective way.