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?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

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

Ashdown Group: Project Manager - Birmingham - up to £40,000 - 12 month FTC

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Manager - Birmingham - ...

SThree: Recruitment Consultant - IT

£25000 - £30000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: Sthree are looking fo...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin (based in London)

£20000 - £25000 per annum + commission: SThree: Real Staffing's Pharmaceutical...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before