Lepra criticises Government's India aid withdrawal

A project supported by Lepra

A project supported by Lepra

First published in Local news

Colchester-based aid charity Lepra has questioned the Government's decision to make no new financial aid commitments to India.

Lepra, which has worked in India for more than 90 years, has labelled the decision a sound-bite policy  not rooted in the needs of real people.

International Development Secretary Justine Greening announced the move which will stop all financial assistance from the UK to India from 2015, and will save about £200million.

Ms Greening, who took responsibility for Britain's aid budget in September, said programmes already under way would be completed as planned, but no new ones would be signed off.

Sarah Nancollas, chief executive of  Lepra, said: "It is right to recognise and applaud the progress that India has made through investment in lifting 60 million people out of poverty since 2006.

"However, there are still more than 421 million people living in extreme poverty in India's poorest eight states, more than in the 26 poorest African countries combined.

"Many argue that, with increasing wealth, the government of India should not need help to tackle the issues of poverty within their country.

"However, people living in extreme poverty can't wait for the long-term structural changes needed in many states where regional Government capacity is weak and health systems barely function. They need help now."

Last year, Lepra worked directly with more than 700,000 of India's extreme poor and reached a further one million with life-saving health education.

It argues  India cannot be viewed as a single country, but should be treated like a continent because of the structure of the country with states with populations of 100 million.

Ms Nancollas describes the decision to cut aid as a short-term political decision aimed at earning popular support rather than being based in the realities of the development needs of people living in abject poverty.

Comments (5)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:45pm Fri 9 Nov 12

Citizen 139 says...

They have a space program and nuclear weapons. They don't need our cash.
They have a space program and nuclear weapons. They don't need our cash. Citizen 139
  • Score: 0

12:25am Sat 10 Nov 12

Boris says...

Their government doesn't need our cash, but their poor people do need it. Ms Nancollas is right: this is just playing to the gallery, a gesture aimed at shoring up the vote for the Tories. But provided all the aid money goes to other, poorer developing countries, the decision is not so bad. We remain an immensely rich country and it is our duty to do more to help those not so fortunate as oursleves.
Their government doesn't need our cash, but their poor people do need it. Ms Nancollas is right: this is just playing to the gallery, a gesture aimed at shoring up the vote for the Tories. But provided all the aid money goes to other, poorer developing countries, the decision is not so bad. We remain an immensely rich country and it is our duty to do more to help those not so fortunate as oursleves. Boris
  • Score: 0

12:37am Sat 10 Nov 12

Boris says...

ourselves
ourselves Boris
  • Score: 0

9:37am Sat 10 Nov 12

Lawford Lass says...

I am personally glad - I don't work hard so my money can be sent abroad to compensate other countries dodgy governments. There are too many children and elderly going without in THIS country for me to want mine or my husbands money to go abroad. Sounds selfish? Maybe but in my mind charity starts at home.
I am personally glad - I don't work hard so my money can be sent abroad to compensate other countries dodgy governments. There are too many children and elderly going without in THIS country for me to want mine or my husbands money to go abroad. Sounds selfish? Maybe but in my mind charity starts at home. Lawford Lass
  • Score: 0

1:35pm Sat 10 Nov 12

Red Tape 2 says...

I think it's the right decision not to blindly pour millions in aid into a country like India which can afford a space program and huge military expenditure. However I also recognise that there are still millions of people living in abject poverty in India and other areas who have no influence on what their government spends money on. Donating to the likes of LEPRA - who can then channel the aid to where it's needed most - seems the most effective way to help them.
I think it's the right decision not to blindly pour millions in aid into a country like India which can afford a space program and huge military expenditure. However I also recognise that there are still millions of people living in abject poverty in India and other areas who have no influence on what their government spends money on. Donating to the likes of LEPRA - who can then channel the aid to where it's needed most - seems the most effective way to help them. Red Tape 2
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree