According to MMI Network member Health Poverty Action, aid spending should compensate those most impoverished by the unfair global economic system, not further its ends.

HPA, February 2019. Health Poverty Action condemns the report ‘Global Britain: A Blueprint for the Twenty-first Century’ by Bob Seely MP and James Rogers which would divert aid spending for the UK’s ‘national interest’. The report proposes abolishing the Department for International Development and expanding the definition and government spending of aid to further the UK’s own interests.

Natalie Sharples, Head of Policy and Campaigns said: “By this definition ‘Global Britain’ appears to mean taking wealth from the poorest to further our own power. What it doesn’t acknowledge is the extent to which global poverty is a result of us having done precisely that throughout history.

Each year African countries receive around $19 billion in aid grants from the rest of the world. Yet over $200 billion is extracted by foreign corporations repatriating profits and by illegally moving money out of the continent – or by costs imposed by the rest of the world through climate change.

Britain is a global leader in this. It’s a leader in its greenhouse gas emissions, the amount of wealth our corporations extract from others, and our position at the helm of the largest network of tax havens in the world, which allows corporations to siphon money away from people and public services everywhere.

Aid spending should compensate those who have been most impoverished by the unfair global economic system we have helped to create, not be used to further its ends.”

Earlier this year, Health Poverty Action called on the UK government to put health and human rights first as they work to develop their own trade policies for a post-Brexit Britain. Entitled “Trading up for health: How to prevent trade deals from undermining health”, the report published by Health Poverty Action “details the irreparable damage post-Brexit trade deals could have on the health of UK citizens and of others around the world.”