ONE responds to the Prime Minister’s comments on aid spending and the defence budget
Adrian Lovett, Europe Executive Director of ONE said:
“The facts are clear: channelling aid money through defence budgets on any scale would quickly hit a large brick wall in the form of the internationally-agreed definition of Official Development Assistance. Rules governing what can and cannot be deemed ‘aid’ are explicit. The only spending that would be allowed through the Ministry of Defence is the sort that the Department for International Development is undertaking already, on things like human rights and rehabilitation of demobilised soldiers.
“To try to bend these rules now would completely undermine the strong leadership shown by the Government having met the 0.7 spending target for the first time only last month. DFID is ranked as the most open and effective development department in the world and transparent aid, monitored for effectiveness, has had an enormous catalytic effect. Globally, extreme poverty has halved and child deaths dropped by more than 40% in just two decades. The day when aid is no longer needed is getting closer. Muddying Britain’s aid commitment now would benefit no-one and could be disastrous for the people who need it the most.”