I am sick and tired of politicians of all parties deciding that they can just dip into taxpayers pockets and taxpayers goodwill to help fund problems abroad that likely don’t concern us or can be resolved by other means.
Rich countries are failing to contribute to an international emergency fund leaving the world “dangerously unprepared” for future disasters, the International Development Secretary has warned.
Andrew Mitchell said the United Nations’ disaster response funding system is expected to be left severely underfunded.
Mr Mitchell’s warning comes after a wave of large-scale disasters over the last year, including famine in the Horn of Africa, the Japan tsunami, the New Zealand earthquake and floods in Pakistan and the Philippines.
Growing numbers of people living in vulnerable areas means the number of those affected by major tragedies is expected to increase in future, he added.
The Government is giving £20m to the Central Emergency Response Fund (Cerf) next year, in addition to £40m already pledged, and has called on the international community to “wake up” to the challenge ahead.
It said many rich countries wait until a disaster strikes before responding, which means critical emergency first response work could be put at risk.
The fund – set up following the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami to provide a coordinated international response – is expected to have a shortfall of £45m next year.
It rather looks like the main contributor at the moment is the UK government with £20 million this year on top of £40 million already pledged, yet there is a £45 million shortfall. Which rather suggests someone (that being the UK taxpayer) are being taken for mugs again by a government determined to keep spending our income on something that could easily be covered by charitable giving at home and not involuntarily filched from our pockets by politicians who clearly don’t have a clue as to how the money might be spent by the bureaucrats running it. No I don’t accept the premise that somehow or other a co-ordinated response will be better than a patchquilt response either, I’ve seen far too many cases of government aid going to the wrong areas, terrorist groups and various other ne’er-do-wells to trust a co-ordinated response group who are far too likely to be doing far too well for themselves at doing well.
Charity begins at home when it comes to government spending (or it should) any spending on international aid should be done by direct appeal to the public and we’ll see just which causes actually appeal, if any.