Critics ask why Britain is giving £1.5bn in aid to six nations with space ambitions
TaxPayers' Alliance says countries with space programmes should not be receiving money from UK mean to be going to world's poorest
Saturday 10 August 2013
It has emerged that six of the eight countries receiving the largest packages of British aid are set to launch their own space programmes.
The six countries, which were collectively given £1.5bn of British taxpayers money last year are funding satellites and rockets that often dwarf Britain's own ambitions in space, according to The Times.
Nigeria, which is set to receive £305m of British aid in 2014-15, is hoping to have its first astronauts within two years. The West African nation, where almost 70 per cent of the country's population live on less than 64p a day, already launched three satellites into orbit.
Critics have demanded to know why some of the poorest countries in Africa and Asia were spending millions on space programmes while still receiving aid money.
India, the world's fourth largest economy and the biggest recipient of non-humanitarian aid from Britain already has 60 satellites in space. The country, which has received almost £860 million from the UK government in the last three years, last month launched the first part of a £154 million domestic satellite navigation network to rival the well-known GPS system created by the United States.
Ethiopia, which will receive £261m this year, announced in February that it was making plans to launch its own satellite and that tests had begun. Pakistan, which received £203m this year, launched its first satellite, Paksat-1R in 2011. Meanwhile Bangladesh has announced it will launch its first in two years, by which time it will have received £196m.
Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance told the paper that the spending on space programmes increased the public's concerns about the rising amount of overseas aid.
“If a foreign government has enough cash to invest in an ambitious space programme, it should not expect to be receiving cash from the UK which is earmarked for helping the world’s poorest,” he said.
Advocates of such space programmes claim that they are vital to poor countries' economic and social development. It is also argued that they can attract international investment and create jobs.
The Department for International Development, will give £11.3bn in overseas development aid (ODA) this year.
A spokesman for DfID responded to the paper by saying, “No UK aid money is spent on helping developing countries put people in space and in reality these space programmes tend to be about getting essential communications and weather satellites into orbit.”
- 1 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Game of Thrones season 5 trailer: The first full-length look is here
Mia Khalifa: Pornhub star claims Drake sent her 'cringeworthy' naked photos on Instagram
Boris Johnson claims porn-obsessed Islamic jihadists are 'literally w*****s'
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Putin opponent reveals Russian President's daughter's secret identity
Ball pool for adults opens in London
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
King Abdullah dead: We can't afford not to hold Saudi Arabia's royals to account
£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...
Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - HIGHEST QUALITY INTERNATIONAL FIRM - A...
Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - EXCELLENT FIRM - We have an outstandin...
Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: IN-HOUSE - NATIONAL CHARITY - An exciting and...