Great Britain has in its budget several billion dollars earmarked to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development for “development”, so one would think that such money could be spent in rebuilding its Caribbean islands that were flattened by Hurricane Irma.
One would be wrong. In fact, the OECD has ruled that the three islands are classed as “too rich” and therefore do not fall within the “allowable” target parameters for the development money. Here’s how it works:
Britain is free to spend its aid wherever it wants – what is at issue is whether it counts towards the Government’s 0.7 per cent target.
Last year, the UK spent £13 billion on aid, money which went towards the target to spend 0.7 per cent of national income on international development. But aid money only counts towards the target if it meets rules set by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
So under current rules, any money we give to the three overseas territories cannot count towards this total. Cash is only eligible if it goes towards a country on the OECD’s list of states which are deemed poor enough.
Countries are ranked according to need, which is intended to ensure the poorest countries take priority. While some UK territories are on this list, the three affected by Irma are not.
I’m sure this will come as welcome news to the British Virgin Islanders:
…and that’s just one town’s damage. Needless to say, various Brit politicians are spitting mad and demanding that the rules be “ripped up” — i.e. they’re advocating anarchy because, after all, rules are rules — but so far the OECD hasn’t budged, which means that the Brits will have to find the budget allocation somewhere else in the budget.
Didn’t one of our Founding Fathers warn against “foreign entanglements”? I think that this one would qualify as a good example thereof.