Readers' letters: Foreign aid

Villagers take refuge on a rooftop above flood waters from a collapsed dam in Laos. See letter about foreign aid''''''''           Picture: Attapeu Today via AP
Villagers take refuge on a rooftop above flood waters from a collapsed dam in Laos. See letter about foreign aid'''''''' Picture: Attapeu Today via AP

Keep foreign aid for those who need it in emergencies

Regrettably, there have been many disasters recently and I wonder if a change in thinking may be appropriate.

As I understand it, our

foreign aid policy hinges on a percentage of GDP.

If we got an annual breakdown of where the money goes – to despotic leaders, corrupt political personnel et al – I’m sure many a decent British citizen would shed a tear in anger.

Surely if a figure similar to the total current payouts were held in ‘a pot’, then rapid payouts could be made to assist the likes of financing help to:

a) For experienced divers to go to Thailand in the rescue of the football team trapped in a cave.

b) Villagers left homeless in South Eastern Laos when the hydroelectric dam collapsed.

c) Assist in combating the devastating forest fires that raged through seaside resorts near the Greek capital of Athens.

Surely help like this is more important than a stop smoking programme in some far-flung country?

It wouldn’t matter if the pot wasn’t totally used up, it is the availability that matters most.

David H Rhodes

Address supplied