'Made up money' padding aid budget, critics claim
Britain has been accused of padding its aid budget with "made up money" so it can claim to have met its millennium promise of increasing the amount it donates to the world's poorest people.
The Department for International Development, headed by Andrew Mitchell, has confirmed that cancelling the debts of some of the world's poorest countries will count towards the aid total, helping the UK to achieve its millennium target of spending 0.7 per cent of national income on overseas aid by 2014.
One of the most controversial debts is the millions that the Sudanese nominally owes for weapons purchased during the Cold War. The money was loaned in the late 1970s by an agency of what is now the Department for Business, at interest rates of 10-12 per cent per year, which have added £405m to the original £173m loan, bringing it to £678m.
The Government is no longer able to say what this money was used to buy. Earlier this year, the Labour MP Lisa Nandy asked questions in Parliament about what the original loans were for, and was told the records have been lost.
But in the late 1970s, the west was arming Sudan as a counterweight to the Marxist regime in neighbouring Ethiopia, which was backed by the Soviet Union, because of fears that communist influence in the Horn of Africa could threaten oil supplies.
The arms sales ended around the time when Sudan descended into civil war between the predominantly Muslim Arab north and the Christian, African south. There have been no repayments on the loans since 1984. The debt is expected to be cancelled in 2013-14, a formality which will instantly add 7 per cent to the UK's nominal aid budget.
Tim Jones, the senior policy officer at the Jubilee Debt Campaign, said: "The debt comes from loans to win business for Britain in the Cold War. Most of the debt is made-up money based on ridiculously high interest rates. It should be cancelled because it is unjust and unpayable, not used to meet targets and massage figures."
The magicians using online collaboration to push boundaries
Jennifer Lawrence attacks mass media again over body image
Jennifer Lawrence: 'It should be illegal to call someone fat on TV'
Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
Ian Watkins: Police probed over earlier allegations as paedophile Lostprophets singer sentenced to 35 years for child sex offences
DNA from a 50,000 year old toe shows Neanderthals were highly inbred
Devyani Khobragade: India-US row escalates over arrest of diplomat in New York
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
You can STILL be jailed for being a republican, government confirms, and it remains illegal to even 'imagine' overthrowing the Queen
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
Fighting back: the woman giving a voice (and 49,999 others) to the victims of sexism - by giving an airing to their horror stories
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
Ethan Couch: Texas quadruple murderer – or a victim of ‘affluenza’?
- 1 America's 'virgin births'? One in 200 mothers 'became pregnant without having sex'
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 3 Ian Watkins: Police probed over earlier allegations as paedophile Lostprophets singer sentenced to 35 years for child sex offences
- 4 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber 'retiring from music'
- 5 Children evacuated from swimming pool after prosthetic leg mistaken for paedophile
- < Previous
- Next >
£30000 - £38001 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: A highly respecta...
£45 - £55 per day: Randstad Education Newcastle: Level 3 Teaching Assistant in...
£21500 - £40000 per day: Randstad Education Plymouth: Randstad Education is th...
£60000 - £75000 per annum + Bonus and Benefits: Harrington Starr: A leading au...