By Gregory Taylor
On 8th June 2013 the British government made a pledge at the ‘Conference on Nutrition for Growth’ held in London committing £375 million towards feeding some of the poorest people in the world. This was a huge amount of money for the British Government to promise, but since then only around five per cent of this money has been accounted for in its spending. Although better than nothing, more could be done on this important issue.
Of course, many will ask why should the British Government spends so much money on international aid when we have our own problems at home. The best answer is that international aid spending is a tiny amount of the money which is spent overall by the British Government. Compared to what we spend on our welfare state it is a speck in the ocean, and we are fortunate that we don’t have to face the kinds of inhumane conditions experienced overseas.
The government is very much committed to international aid and sees it as an important part of its foreign policy, but it’s very important that charities like ‘RESULTS’ (Which I’ve long been a grassroots campaigner and advocate for) keep up the pressure on the government to commit to some of the promises that it has made on dealing with crucial issues such as world nutrition. It should be never be forgotten that around a million children die from under-nutrition every year, so it’s key that more action is taken from the British government and by other leading western countries .
Although it is encouraging that the Department of International Development is committed to helping to solve malnutrition, more could be done. For the British Government the next logical step would be outlining how it plans to spend the £375 million. Although this story is unlikely to make the front page of the media, it is something which should not be forgotten.