‘Spending cuts’ are two very familiar words in the UK, with many people feeling the pinch of rising bills and frozen wages, but the real impact is seen in developing countries where the crisis means the difference between life and death as international aid falls.
In 2011 the top three international contributions to developing countries came from the USA, donating a net of $30.7 billion, (but this is actually a fall of -0.9% compared to 2010), Germany at $14.5 billion, (surprisingly an increase of 5.9%), and the UK at $13.7 billion (a drop of -0.8%).
Unsurprisingly, aid from countries such as Greece has fallen by as much as -39% and Spain’s donation by -32%.
British PM David Cameron expressed concern over the current level of foreign aid, saying that “For the first time in a decade the amount of aid given by the world’s richest countries to the world’s poorest countries has fallen back.”
A new spark of hope has emerged however, as a partnership was made at last week’s G8 summit, where 8 of the world’s richest nations pledged a renewed commitment to combating hunger and malnutrition in developing countries.
The UK has made plans for an event during the Olympic Games in London this year, by holding an international food security summit where over 100 heads of state will discuss foreign aid.
Save the Children charity welcomed the announcement, stating that “the Olympics offer a unique opportunity to leave a global legacy beyond sport.”
It seems that there are going to be tighter regulations however, in order for countries to receive aid.
David Cameron asserted that “For countries to receive help they need to show a real commitment to transparency and good governance.” Adding: “This is a great combination of promoting good governance and helping Africa to feed its people.”
In such desperate times, we can only hope that more nations will realise how important foreign aid is to those in the most impoverished areas.