to wonder why we give money in overseas aid instead of sorting out the UK first?

(96 Posts)

I'm not trying to be goady, this is a genuine question. I'm sure there are good arguments and good reasons why we give overseas aid (the two most obvious being philanthropy and social responsibility). But it seems short-sighted when we have such a huge deficit and there are so many people in the UK being driven into poverty.

I'm sure I'm being unreasonable, but can someone explain (gently please!) why?

nevertoolate26 Sat 16-Mar-13 13:51:59

I wonder the same thing too. I thought it was more of an intellectual / economisty thing though.
I can't believe you get cuts in important services here, people homeless on streets, living in crap accomodation, etc and then you hear the government's sending.... millions in foreign aid. I'm not being goady either but just confused why the government doesn't sort the problems over here first.
Oh, and please explain it gently to me too!

Marking place as this flits through my mind on occasion. I do think it's great that we help out overseas, but also realise that we are having huge problems over here and people in our country are going without whilst we send money overseas. Not really sure what the answer is in any case.

HollyBerryBush Sat 16-Mar-13 13:58:46

It's generally cheaper than having a war.

This was explained to me in some detail - however I didn't grasp the economics of it either.

I'm sure someone will come along and hopefully spell it out so I can understand it

ceramicunicorn Sat 16-Mar-13 14:00:03

This country has problems. Many other countries are in absolute crisis due to civil wars, famine, lack of health care etc.

I'm so glad it's not just me who wonders this sometimes! I thought I was going to get a proper flaming.

gordyslovesheep Sat 16-Mar-13 14:03:16

Because aid has strings attached - it's not just aid

but also for me it's because humans a global - and a childs life is of equal worth where ever they have the (mis)fortune to be born

JaquelineHyde Sat 16-Mar-13 14:03:30

In my eyes we do it for idealistic reasons; because we are all part of a global community, because we should take pride in being able to help our brothers and sisters in the most dire of situation regardless of geographical location and because we can and we lead by example with the hope that the money we send will make a difference and will help save lives.

However, from the Government's point of view it is done because it is financially viable in the long run. It opens doors and keeps the UK at the top of the list for return favours from corrupt governments and regimes. Nothing is ever free.

Because as a country we are much wealthier and we have responsibilities.

Children rarely die of poverty here (though of course they do sometimes) but they routinely die in other countries.

HollyBerryBush Sat 16-Mar-13 14:03:44
catgirl1976 Sat 16-Mar-13 14:07:51

Could you point me to it Holly?

I had a read through but couldn't find any.

LadyWidmerpool Sat 16-Mar-13 14:08:21

You are aware that children are starving, right?

Children are starving.

Children are experiencing long agonising deaths. In their millions.

Some people think that's as serious as homelessness in the UK.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HeySoulSister Sat 16-Mar-13 14:08:35

What is 'sort out' the UK tho?

How do you decide what sorted out is?

WestieMamma Sat 16-Mar-13 14:08:41

Because poverty in the UK is nothing like poverty where aid gets sent. People who are that desperate will migrate and then the problem is on your doorstep and much bigger and costlier to deal with.

nevertoolate26 Sat 16-Mar-13 14:18:58

JacquelineHyde - I think you're right there. It's like another poster said, you get two sections in countries like India, the rich and then those living in slums in the gutter. I'm sure I read that the owner of the mos expensive house in London was the president of Pakistan. If the government's genuinely cared perhaps they should stop a""e lick**n the presidents of whatever country and tell them to do the right thing. Behind the closed doors I'm sure many deals are made - we'll give you this much aid if you do this for us.
But comic relief, etc - that's people (not the government) in our country genuinely being moved and giving their money to people much less fortunate than ourselves. You'd have to be heartless not to shed a tear when you see children utterly starving

BigSpork Sat 16-Mar-13 14:22:12

Because aid paves the way for legislation that suits our businesses. A lot of the money the UK makes comes from labour and resources from these countries we are sending aid to and giving aid in one hand and helping our businesses get into countries and pay as little in the local area is what helps the UK be so wealthy. It means those countries don't push as hard for the far larger sum they would get from any of those companies for their tax obligations - we give aid, make the rules of the IMF that ties their hands, and made backroom deals through the UN. America is even worse of course (pretty much anti-gay legislation that's come through lately can be traced to money from American "charities" working in the areas) but that's the real world why - a continuation of colonization for our benefit.

By 'sorting out' the UK l meant that there are people who have to choose between eating properly and heating their homes. I wondered whether the government should help these people first rather than sending money overseas.

It's depressing if it really is down to big business, although I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.

LadyWidmerpool if it was your child that was hungry and homeless in the UK then yes, I suspect you would find it as serious a problem.

Flisspaps Sat 16-Mar-13 14:26:03

LadyWidmerpool but people die on the streets in the UK. They die in a first world country, of cold, of hunger, of the drugs or drink that makes the days a tiny bit more bearable.

I don't see why the lives if those people are any less worthy than those of children dying overseas - none of them are dying a peaceful, painless death in a warm bed after a long life.

Softlysoftly Sat 16-Mar-13 14:30:40

Firstly because it's morally right but Secondly sound economics.

For example China is busy in Africa building infrastructure. Because they seeconsumers/ businesses of the future. We are a global economy and need the works to keep developing to keep us developing.

A simple example is meat. Here we eat allthe lovely (non dobbin) cuts, recently we have been able to package and sell the bits British consumers turn their nose up at eg brains and sell them in Africa where they are a delicacy.

If they stay impoverished and embroiled in civil war with no education then they don't become consumers.

Its also a fact that prosperity = smaller family units as people don't need "spare" children when unlike when x% die before the age of 5 sad so aid to improve matters helps reduce the world over population and strain on resources.

That makes sense Softly, thank you.

Softlysoftly Sat 16-Mar-13 14:35:06

Oh and though big business isn't "nice" more business = more prosperity here = hopefully more jobs/taxes to = less homelessness and poverty.

Plus our children will be looking for v work bit just in the uk bit globally I think, even if they live here iyswim.

Softlysoftly Sat 16-Mar-13 14:36:29

Thank 5live debates and a long drive to Birmingham joyful wink

Viviennemary Sat 16-Mar-13 14:38:23

Probably because people are in desperate need of food and fresh water. And are in danger of starving to death or dying of disease due to lack of sanitation. I

chicaguapa Sat 16-Mar-13 14:51:23

Because we live in one world, not a series of one countries. Because there is enough money in this one world that no child should ever have to die from poverty. This applies whether that child is British or from an African country.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now