UK aid to poorest countries reduced

Britain is redirecting aid money from poorer to richer countries according to official figures released by the Department for International Development.

The cash has been taken away from countries failing to meet the department's targets for poverty reduction.

Instead, it is going to nations thought more likely to use it wisely, regardless of their relative wealth.

To continue receiving aid, countries must meet several targets including a reduction in child mortality and an increase in school enrolment. And they must show that their gross domestic product is rising.

Last night Gary Streeter, the Conservative overseas aid spokesman, said that the department's annual report had praised India and China for their rising GDP levels, while pointing out that sub-Saharan Africa had suffered a drop of 0.2 per cent.

Accordingly, aid to China and India was to be increased in 2000-02 by 40 per cent and 150 per cent respectively. But cuts were planned for the southern, central and Great Horn regions of Africa.

The report also makes clear that child and maternal mortality rates in Angola, Mozambique and Ethiopia were "particularly high". These three countries and Pakistan also have the lowest rates of enrolment to school.

All four countries have seen their aid slashed.

Mr Streeter said last night: "I am very concerned that the Government appears to be shifting aid away from the countries that are most in need because they are not meeting three random paper targets.

"Clare Short (the International Development Secretary) is increasing aid where it should be cut by propping up the corrupt Zimbabwean government and cutting other aid budgets in sub-Saharan Africa where reconstruction and development are most needed.

"Increasing aid to China and Indonesia, two countries with very poor human rights records, flies in the face of the Government's ethical foreign policy and makes a mockery of their stated intention to support the world's poorest people."

The department's report for 2000 makes it clear that aid plans have been revised to "help meet the international development targets and reduce poverty".

Mr Streeter said: "This is a Government admission that funding plans are being altered to meet their own poverty targets."

Ms Short explained the phenomenon in the report, saying: "We have increased our resource transfers to those [countries] committed to tackling poverty. Where this commitment is lacking we have reduced spending."

The Tories reject this claim. They have seized on figures showing that Britain has halved its long-term aid to Ethiopia to prevent the money being used to fund the famine-threatened country's war with Eritrea. Aid to Mozambique, which is recovering from floods, has also been slashed.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

The Grange Retirement Home: Full Time Care Team Manager

£22,400: The Grange Retirement Home: This is a key role which requires a sound...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K YR1: SThree: At SThree, we like to be dif...

Guru Careers: Software Developer / Web Developer

£30 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Software / Web Developer (PHP / MYSQL) i...

Guru Careers: Account Executive

£18 - 20k + Benefits: Guru Careers: An Account Executive is needed to join one...

Day In a Page

Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada