Britain BANNED from using £13billion aid budget

  • Pot of £13billion aid cannot be used because British territories are 'too wealthy'
  • It means that rescue funding will have to come from other Government budgets
  • The cost of rescuing the British Overseas Territories could stretch to £100m
  • Prime Minister Theresa May announced £25m in addition to £32m already given 
  • Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said the military is 'really ratcheting up' relief 
  • Comes after the Government faced claims that the country had not done enough

By Claire Ellicot For The Daily Mail

Published: 16:17 EDT, 13 September 2017 | Updated: 20:09 EDT, 13 September 2017

UK territories devastated by Hurricane Irma cannot tap into the £13billion foreign aid budget because they are ‘too wealthy’.

International rules mean Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands and the Turks and Caicos islands cannot get handouts despite being flattened by the storm.

Set by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the rules are blamed for hampering the relief effort in the islands.

India and China, which have booming economies, would be ‘poor’ enough to receive help, however. North Korea is also on the OECD’s approved list.

Ruins: The scale of the hurricane's power can be seen in this aerial picture of a town in the British Virgin Islands
Ruins: The scale of the hurricane's power can be seen in this aerial picture of a town in the British Virgin Islands

Ruins: The scale of the hurricane's power can be seen in this aerial picture of a town in the British Virgin Islands

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson visited the islands yesterday to meet survivors and survey the damage. He flew out after French president Emmanuel Macron and the Dutch king visited their citizens in the region 
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson visited the islands yesterday to meet survivors and survey the damage. He flew out after French president Emmanuel Macron and the Dutch king visited their citizens in the region 

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson visited the islands yesterday to meet survivors and survey the damage. He flew out after French president Emmanuel Macron and the Dutch king visited their citizens in the region 

British relief efforts have been criticised as ¿absolutely pathetic¿ in comparison with those of France and the Netherlands. Mr Johnson promised more cash 
British relief efforts have been criticised as ¿absolutely pathetic¿ in comparison with those of France and the Netherlands. Mr Johnson promised more cash 

British relief efforts have been criticised as ‘absolutely pathetic’ in comparison with those of France and the Netherlands. Mr Johnson promised more cash 

The Government has committed £57million for disaster relief for islands hit by Hurricane Irma – but this must be found from separate funds and Whitehall departments.

One minister said the islands could have received five times as much cash had they been allowed official foreign aid. Downing Street said Theresa May was frustrated by the international rules.

The booming economies and despotic regimes we give aid 

Britain sends foreign aid to several countries with booming economies, including India, which has sent a mission to Mars and is the world’s fastest growing foreign economy, and China, which spends billions on a space programme.

We also send aid to despotic regimes which are accused of human rights violations, including North Korea and Venezuela

Among the controversial projects for these countries that have been funded by foreign aid are:

Smoking in China

Foreign aid provided a £133,584 grant to Sun Yat-Sen University for a project looking at how to reduce smoking amongst migrant workers in factories in Guangzhou, China.

Cutting sugary drinks in India

The Public Health Foundation of India received £121,403 to explore how schools could reduce the consumption of sugary drinks.

Keeping homes in India cool

Loughborough University was awarded £537,717 for a study on environmentally friendly ways to keep Indian houses cool.

Venezuela

British aid money has been spent on training elements of Venezuela’s brutal security services. Nearly £6million has been sent to the oil-rich country in the past four years, with £160,000 funding training.

North Korea

The despotic regime has received more than £4million in British foreign aid in the past six years. 

Tory MP Philip Davies said: ‘It is absolutely ridiculous that we cannot use any of our bloated overseas aid budget to help British overseas territories devastated by the hurricane.

‘You couldn’t make it up that an overseas territory doesn’t qualify for overseas aid. Surely the Government will see sense and stop this madness and take control of taxpayers’ money and spend it on our priorities.’

A ministerial source said: ‘It is totally mad. We have a £13billion development budget, but the definition of how we can spend it is ridiculous.

‘The rules do not allow development spending on these islands because they are not considered poor enough. Well, they bloody well are now.

‘It is completely immoral and a lot of people are saying we should just ignore the rules and spend the money.’

The three British overseas territories were in the path of the monster hurricane, which claimed scores of lives and left thousands homeless.

British relief efforts have been criticised as ¿absolutely pathetic¿ in comparison with those of France and the Netherlands. But Mr Johnson has promised more cash. Pictured: A Royal Marine hands out water in Road Town, British Virgin Islands 
British relief efforts have been criticised as ¿absolutely pathetic¿ in comparison with those of France and the Netherlands. But Mr Johnson has promised more cash. Pictured: A Royal Marine hands out water in Road Town, British Virgin Islands 

British relief efforts have been criticised as ‘absolutely pathetic’ in comparison with those of France and the Netherlands. But Mr Johnson has promised more cash. Pictured: A Royal Marine hands out water in Road Town, British Virgin Islands 

Hurricane Irma left Anguilla devastated, with swathes of the island left uninhabitable 
Hurricane Irma left Anguilla devastated, with swathes of the island left uninhabitable 

Hurricane Irma left Anguilla devastated, with swathes of the island left uninhabitable 

Images, provided by the NASA Earth Observatory, shows Caribbean islands looking a vibrant green (top), while a second - captured after the hurricane (bottom) - shows the territory is coloured brown. The islands, from left, are St. Thomas, St. John, Tortola and Virgin Gorda
Images, provided by the NASA Earth Observatory, shows Caribbean islands looking a vibrant green (top), while a second - captured after the hurricane (bottom) - shows the territory is coloured brown. The islands, from left, are St. Thomas, St. John, Tortola and Virgin Gorda

Images, provided by the NASA Earth Observatory, shows Caribbean islands looking a vibrant green (top), while a second - captured after the hurricane (bottom) - shows the territory is coloured brown. The islands, from left, are St. Thomas, St. John, Tortola and Virgin Gorda

The Foreign secretary Boris Johnson talks to residents on the British Virgin Islands after Irma hit the Caribbean 
The Foreign secretary Boris Johnson talks to residents on the British Virgin Islands after Irma hit the Caribbean 

The Foreign secretary Boris Johnson talks to residents on the British Virgin Islands after Irma hit the Caribbean 

Villages on Providenciales (pictured) in the Turks and Caicos islands were devastated by the force to Hurricane Irma
Villages on Providenciales (pictured) in the Turks and Caicos islands were devastated by the force to Hurricane Irma

Villages on Providenciales (pictured) in the Turks and Caicos islands were devastated by the force to Hurricane Irma

A picture provided by the British Ministry of Defence  shows cars that have been turned to wrecks by Hurricane Irma on the British Virgin Islands
A picture provided by the British Ministry of Defence  shows cars that have been turned to wrecks by Hurricane Irma on the British Virgin Islands

A picture provided by the British Ministry of Defence shows cars that have been turned to wrecks by Hurricane Irma on the British Virgin Islands

Royal Marines from from 59 Commando Squadron have been tasked with helping to clean up Tortola in the British Virgin Islands after the area was destroyed by Hurricane Irma
Royal Marines from from 59 Commando Squadron have been tasked with helping to clean up Tortola in the British Virgin Islands after the area was destroyed by Hurricane Irma
Royal Marines from from 59 Commando Squadron have been tasked with helping to clean up Tortola in the British Virgin Islands after the area was destroyed by Hurricane Irma
Royal Marines from from 59 Commando Squadron have been tasked with helping to clean up Tortola in the British Virgin Islands after the area was destroyed by Hurricane Irma

Royal Marines from from 59 Commando Squadron have been tasked with helping to clean up Tortola in the British Virgin Islands after the area was destroyed by Hurricane Irma

Luxury yachts are still piled on top of each other in marinas in Road Town, on Tortola - part of the British Virgin Islands. There have been reports of looting in the area
Luxury yachts are still piled on top of each other in marinas in Road Town, on Tortola - part of the British Virgin Islands. There have been reports of looting in the area

Luxury yachts are still piled on top of each other in marinas in Road Town, on Tortola - part of the British Virgin Islands. There have been reports of looting in the area

An aerial photograph of the Turks and Caicos islands taken by a Royal Air Force C-130J Hercules transport plane 
An aerial photograph of the Turks and Caicos islands taken by a Royal Air Force C-130J Hercules transport plane 

An aerial photograph of the Turks and Caicos islands taken by a Royal Air Force C-130J Hercules transport plane 

Soldiers on patrol in Road Town meet locals after the devastation of Hurricane Irma 
Soldiers on patrol in Road Town meet locals after the devastation of Hurricane Irma 

Soldiers on patrol in Road Town meet locals after the devastation of Hurricane Irma 

Tory MP Philip Davies blasted the news Britain cannot use its foreign aid budget on the territories. He said: ¿It is absolutely ridiculous that we cannot use any of our bloated overseas aid budget to help British overseas territories devastated by the hurricane'. Pictured: A Royal Marine speaking with a local on the British Virgin Islands 
Tory MP Philip Davies blasted the news Britain cannot use its foreign aid budget on the territories. He said: ¿It is absolutely ridiculous that we cannot use any of our bloated overseas aid budget to help British overseas territories devastated by the hurricane'. Pictured: A Royal Marine speaking with a local on the British Virgin Islands 

Tory MP Philip Davies blasted the news Britain cannot use its foreign aid budget on the territories. He said: ‘It is absolutely ridiculous that we cannot use any of our bloated overseas aid budget to help British overseas territories devastated by the hurricane'. Pictured: A Royal Marine speaking with a local on the British Virgin Islands 

Known as Official Development Assistance, foreign aid is supposed to help the poorest countries fight poverty and fund development.

Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands and Turks and Caicos are deemed too wealthy, according to strict criteria set by the OECD. Repairing damage in the region also does not qualify for aid.

Yet foreign aid has been used to cut smoking in China and keep homes in India cool. Both countries have space programmes and nuclear weapons.

DAILY MAIL COMMENT 

If ever there was proof of the insanity of Britain’s £13billion aid spending, it came with yesterday’s news that none of that money will be available to the thousands of poor subjects of the Queen whose lives have been destroyed by Hurricane Irma. 

Though more than 4,000 miles from the UK, these are all but our people.

How can we deny them our money, in their hour of critical need, at a time when we dish it out so freely to mega-rich India and China?           

Aid money has also been spent on an Ethiopian version of the Spice Girls and a project to create a 3D model of a Tunisian palace. All these schemes met the definition of aid spending.

A Government source insisted it was ‘absolute nonsense’ to claim that OECD rules had been a factor, adding: ‘The response to Irma would have been the same and just as quick.’

However, a source said officials were looking at how overseas aid rules applied to natural disasters. Nigel Evans, a Tory member of the International Development Committee and Tory MP for the Ribble Valley, said: ‘This is an international disaster requiring immediate aid. This ticks all the boxes. Bureaucrats can argue as much as they like but this is an humanitarian crisis that has cost lives and people’s livelihoods.’

The UK has committed to spend 0.7 per cent of gross national income on aid since 2013. This was made law in 2015 under David Cameron, but Theresa May promised to look again at the definition after criticism of a budget that has now hit £13billion.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson visited the islands yesterday to meet survivors and survey the damage. He flew out after French president Emmanuel Macron and the Dutch king visited their citizens in the region.

British relief efforts have been criticised as ‘absolutely pathetic’ in comparison with those of France and the Netherlands. Mr Johnson promised more cash.  

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By World Staff Writer 09/13/2017 20:09:00