states that aid spending is good for Britain's economy and safety."
Which is right. Nobody should get the idea that money spent on foreign aid is a charitable donation. We provide aid to other countries because we anticipate something in return - by way of alliances, both in political terms and in trade agreements.
In truth the provision of foreign aid should be needs based, but that - so far at least - has been a pipe dream. Countries like us have repeatedly provided large amounts of foreign aid strategically; countries and regions that might be helpful to us in the future have done well, whereas poor,needy cases have come off worst.
It's not just us - America has provided more aid to Egypt than to any other country, and most of it has been spent on the military. It might be argued that America's aid policy increased the ability of the Egyptian army to hold the best hand when it came to deciding who runs the country post-Mubarak.
Some of the big charities, and some people in the UN feel that aid-providing member states should deposit their foreign aid payments with an international body - like the UN - and let it decide how to distribute the funds.
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