Foreign aid: 'More practical ways' to support world says activist
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During a discussion on the planned cut to the foreign aid budget, conservative activist Shabnam Nasimi insisted Global Britain’s trade deals with poorer countries are the answer to helping the developing world – not aid. She hit back at critics of the cuts insisting that “it is ever more important now to develop relationships with poorer countries”. Ms Nasimi went on to say how aid is a “short term fix” but trade deals are “long term fixes” and how trade is a more “practical and sustainable” way to support poorer nations. Her comments come as a group of Conservative rebel MPs on Monday were stopped from overturning £4billion of Government cuts to the overseas aid budget.
Ms Nasimi said: “I think what is more important than anything is that even the 0.5 percent of aid can go a long away if it is administered in the right way.
“But more importantly aside from aid, I think trade is an important angle here as well.
“With global Britain and the start of trade relationships with countries around the world.”
She explained how “it is ever more important now to develop relationships with poorer countries”.
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The conservative activist added: “It creates more sustainable change to people economic situation.
“Aid is a short term fix, we need to look for long term fixes.
“And the answer is global Britain and the relationship that Britain has with the world and its comittment to support poorer countries.
“It is through trade that we can do that.”
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Ms Nasimi fired home how many people “emphasise on trade too much”.
And concluded by saying: “there are more practical and sustainable ways we can support the world.”
Around 30 Tory MPs were amongst the Conservative rebels who were backing an amendment that would have forced a vote on the Prime Minister’s decision to cut foreign aid from 0.7 percent to 0.5 but this will now not go ahead.
On Monday afternoon the rebel group were stopped from overturning £4bn of government cuts to the overseas aid budget after House of Commons speaker Lindsay Hoyle said the vote was not within the law but called on ministers to give MPs an “effective” vote on the cuts.
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The cut was announced last year with ministers insisting the temporary reduction was necessary following the catastrophic impact the pandemic had on UK finances but stressed it would be returned “when the economic situation allows”.
It comes as Live Aid founder Bob Geldof told The Andrew Marr Show on BBC One the cuts “would be vastly damaging for Britain’s soft power”.
But Matt Hancock hit back at criticism from figures across the political spectrum insisting the cut is only “temporary” adding that making the Covid vaccine at cost is “the biggest gift” the UK could give to rest of the world.
His comments come just four days before the Prime Minister hosts world leaders at the G7 summit in Cornwall.
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