The International Policy Network have released an excellent new report which looks at how DFID use taxpayers' money to support political causes here in Britain. Some of the facts they've found are real shockers:
"£1.2 million given to the Trades Union Congress (TUC) since 2003 for activities including: lobbying, hiring new staff and an “international buffet and wine” event to celebrate “International Women’s Day” in the UK. DfID also paid the TUC to hold lessons in how to apply for DfID funds.
The creation of fake NGOs such as “Connections for Development” (CfD), supposedly a forum for black and ethnic minorities to engage “on issues relating to international development.” DfID created and is the only donor to CfD, providing it with £600,000 in its first two years, yet an independent review questioned "the purpose of the organisation."
Big charities are funded to engage in "awareness", "promotion" and "advocacy". Millions is spent every year through one programme, the "Development Awareness Fund", in order promote the importance of DFID issues. I think many people are already pretty cynical about what happens to money spent on international aid, which can often be wasted and feed corruption. But it is still incredible to learn that millions of pounds don't even leave our shores, but are spent by bureaucrats trying to get more of our money instead of making the best use they can of the significant resources DFID is already given.