why do we give aid to foreign countries

The UK is a major contributor of foreign aid and US billionaire Bill Gates is urging the government to continue with its funding promises. Yesterday Prime Minister Theresa May did not confirm whether keeping the international aid target will be one of the promises made by the Conservatives at the upcoming election. Currently of the UK's gross national income (GNI) to go on foreign aid. This came to around бе12bn in 2015. Some people think the UK shouldn't be helping people overseas while cutting services at home. They think problems of poverty and inequality are being fuelled by conflict, corruption and political instability and so foreign aid is worthless. Others say it is a mark of the UK's generosity and helps address the difference in wealth between developed and developing countries. It also saves lives, they say. What is foreign aid? In its most basic definition, foreign aid is resources given from one country to another. It can involve a transfer of things like food or military equipment, or even people to provide training and medical help. Usually these are loaned by governments, organisations and individuals in richer countries to help people in poorer countries. An example would be the бе230m the UK provided to fight the spread of Ebola in West Africa. Aid could also include advice on farming methods, help with clean water and sanitation or building local schools and providing books. There are different types of aid, such as emergency or short-term aid which is needed after sudden disasters such as earthquakes, flooding or tsunamis. Conditional or tied aid is when one country donates money or resources to another but with conditions attached, for example a trade deal. There is also aid funded by donations from the public through charities such as Children in Need. Long-term or development aid involves providing local communities with education and skills. Money shared through international organisations such as the World Bank, rather than by one specific country, is called multilateral aid. How does UK foreign aid compare to other countries? Only five countries in addition to the UK met or exceeded the 0. 7% of GNI target in 2015.


Those countries are the Netherlands, Denmark, Luxembourg, Norway and Sweden, according to the United Nations. Germany, France, Italy, the US, Japan and Canada each spend 0. 4% or less. So, where does it go? More than 40% of the budget went to multilateral organisations, such as the United Nations, who fund big projects like disaster relief. The remaining 60% goes directly to developing countries. The Department for International Development says the biggest regional beneficiary is Africa, which received a total of бе2. 54bn from the UK last year. Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, South Sudan and Syria, were each given more than бе200m. Pakistan received бе374m from the UK in 2015, more than any of the country. The majority of that cash has gone towards social welfare, education and healthcare. Critics point out Pakistan spends бе2. 1bn a year on nuclear arms operations, according to the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. Afghanistan is third on the UK's list; they received бе300m in 2015. The UK's presence in the country over the last decade has helped improve security and prevent it from once again becoming a base of operations for global terrorists. Syria received бе258m in 2015 to support the "humanitarian and development responses to conflict". Since then the UK's Department for International Development has announced they will spend more than бе1bn on helping the country. Nigeria was one of the largest recipients of aid from the UK, with бе263m given. Critics of Nigeria's leadership say it is one of the most corrupt countries in the world. The country has been fighting to win back areas that have been under the control of the Boko Haram extremist group. Follow on Twitter,
on Instagram, on YouTube and you can now follow BBC_Newsbeat WhatБs the situation? The UKБs international reputation is suffering at the moment, with David Cameron castigated Europe-wide for his response to the refugee crisis. He has now promised to resettle an extra 20,000 Syrian refugees by 2020, which chancellor George Osborne suggests will be to provide support for local councils in housing, social and health care for the refugees. So far BritainБs response to the refugee crisis seems pretty minimal compared to Germany which says it could take in.


But in reality, as the prime minister has pointed out, the UK is already a significant contributor of foreign aid. The UK spent $19bn on foreign aid last year, compared to $16bn from Germany and $10bn from France In 2013, the UK joined a select group of countries that had reached the target of donating 0. 7% of their national income on foreign aid. Of the of the OECDБs Development Assistance Committee (DAC), only Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Luxembourg spent more than 0. 7% of their national income in foreign aid in 2013. That same year, the to hit the international target, spending бе11. 4bn Б about бе180 per person Б on aid. for 2014 show donor money has increased further, with the UK spending 0. 71% of its gross domestic income (GDI) on foreign aid. Where does the money go? The of the Department for International Development (DfID) which allocates the money cover health and economic growth, among others. Nearly 40% of the budget goes to multilateral organisations including the UN and the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, while the remaining funds go in bilateral aid Б money sent to developing countries. The most recent from 2013 show Pakistan, Ethiopia and Bangladesh received the most in bilateral aid from the UK. To date, with бе501m going to Syria, бе239m to Lebanon and бе183m to Jordan. So which were the most generous countries in 2014? The US donated the most funds (net) in foreign aid. But when looking at the percentage of the countryБs national income given to foreign aid, the US contribution is less impressive. It spent 0. 19% of its national income, which is the same percentage as Portugal and Japan. Out of the DAC countries, Sweden was the most generous Б it was the first to meet the 0. 7% target in 1974 Б donating 1. 1% of its GNI to foreign aid, which works out at about $6. 2bn. Next came Luxembourg, at 1. 07%, then Norway at 0. 99% and Denmark at 0. 85%. The UK was fifth, higher than Germany at 0. 41%, France at 0. 36% and Switzerland at 0. 49%. In total the UK spent $19bn on foreign aid last year, compared to $16bn from Germany and $10bn from France.


Who are the other big spenders? The country that donated the most to foreign aid in terms of percentage of GNI was the United Arab Emirates (a non-DAC country), and it sent 1. 17% of its national income to development aid, after providing substantial assistance to Egypt. This is equivalent to $4bn, close to what Australia put towards aid. But for Australia, the $4bn is only 0. 27% of its national income. While part of the UKБs aid budget goes to Bric countries Б Brazil, Russia, India and China which have the worldБs largest and fastest emerging-market economies Б they also donate significant amounts in foreign aid. , foreign aid expenditure of the Bric countries increased from about $1. 5bn in 2005 to approximately $4. 2bn in 2011. Which countries donated the least? Out of the DAC countries, those which seemed to give the least in development assistance are the Slovak Republic donating 0. 08% of its GNI, the Czech Republic, Greece and Slovenia at 0. 11%, Korea at 0. 13% and Spain at 0. 14%. Including non-DAC countries, Israel and Latvia were the lowest, donating 0. 07% and 0. 08% respectively. Iceland technically donated the least out of the DAC countries, at $35m, but thatБs 0. 21% of its GNI: 0. 2% higher than AmericaБs contribution. Out of the 34 countries listed as donors by the OECD, Latvia donated the least with $25m, which is just 0. 08% of its national income. But that was a 3% increase on its donations the previous year, when more than half of the members cut their aid budgets from 2013 to 2014. JapanБs was cut by 15. 3% to $9bn, Australia saw cuts of 7. 2% to $4. 2bn, while Spain cut its funding by 20. 3% to $1. 8bn. Britain on the other hand, saw a 1. 2% increase in foreign aid funding. So what does the public think? Although foreign aid is a contentious issue, researchers at the London School of Economics say the public seems to be happy with the UKБs spending on foreign aid. However, surveys released in June show rather than need. So perhaps weБre not as altruistic as we thought. of development professionals and humanitarians. Follow on Twitter.

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