When foreign aid doesn't help

On the same day as the Westminster Hall debate on the 0.7% Foreign Aid target The Telegraph reports that a £156.4 million grant by the Department For International Development (DFID) has led to acts of terrorism by Palestinian civil servants becoming 'more likely'.

The Overseas Development Institute have released a shocking analysis of a grant given by DFID to fund the salaries for 5,000 Palestinian civil servants over 5 years in order to promote state building. The report finds that by paying the salaries of public sector employees, even when those employees are convicted for criminal acts, there has been a 0.6% increase in 'conflict-related' death for every 1% increase in public sector employment.

The final judgement is that the project has failed in it's aim to "promote peace or peaceful attitudes”.

As we noted in our 2014 paper on Freedom in Developing Countries British taxpayers’ spend too much money propping up governments that refuse to grant fundamental freedoms. If we want our foreign aid to have a positive effect upon the world then DFID must get the basics right.