Can aid end aid?
We put the question to six campaigners and opinion-formers.
Former chief of the defence staff
It is hard to envisage a world in which nobody needs help – in which aid is unnecessary. The overall level of need can, though, be reduced through timely and well-directed aid. I have seen sufficient outcomes over the years – both good and bad – to convince me of the truth of the proposition. Hardship and want often lead to conflict, and conflict undoubtedly breeds hardship and want. So, addressing the appropriate needs in the first place will almost certainly reduce the longer-term requirement for aid, as well as avoiding much of the human and material costs of conflict. And it will contribute to our security and prosperity.
Many regions where the UK’s national interests are most closely engaged suffer from instability, poverty and poor governance. Helping people in these areas to self-reliance, helping them to develop fair and effective institutions, to lift themselves out of poverty and to counter ignorance, will reduce the risk of conflict. And that, in turn, is good for our own interests. So, whether you’re being selfless or selfish, timely and well-targeted aid makes sense.
Tags: NS aid special