In June, the U.K. became the first G7 nation to enshrine into law a 1970 UN target of allocating 0.7% of gross national income to international aid. Although the U.K. only met the target for the first time last year, the new law means that all future British governments are legally obliged to meet it.
The move was welcomed by the government’s International Development Secretary, Justine Greening, along with several aid organizations including Concern Worldwide, ONE Campaign and the Bond network, whose CEO Ben Jackson told the Guardian it “sends a strong signal to developing countries that we will continue to keep our aid promise to them.”
But since the law was first announced in March, several cases have come to light revealing how the government’s Department for International Development (DFID), responsible for overseas aid, is increasing its support for the private sector and benefiting corporations rather than people.
In Nigeria energy sector workers are loosing jobs, in Tanzania farmers are being displaced, and Ugandans are unable to afford basic education while the companies involved, such as Agrica and Coca-Cola, are benefiting from access to new markets.
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