UK Aid to India Draws Applause

Students in India. The Cameron administration has pledged 1 billion pounds in aid to the country over the next four years. Photo by: Pippa Ranger / DfID / CC BY-NC-ND

The Cameron administration’s move to provide 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion) in aid over the next four years to India is expected to draw criticisms from Conservative members of the British Parliament, given the austere budget environment. But it has its own share of defenders. 

>> Despite Austerity Measures, UK Plans USD1.6B Aid for India

Lawrence Haddad, director of the Institute of Development Studies, says British aid to India, at its best, will help “leverage (and increase) much larger Indian resource flows (public and private) towards the poorest.”

“From a moral standpoint, this is in British interests if we think it is important to show leadership in our global society. But it is also important from a narrower, self-interested material perspective – the relationships and partnerships we form in working together in the social sphere will translate into the economic and political spheres too,” he writes in the Guardian.

Haddad urges British politicians to be “more coherent and less timid” in explaining the importance of aid to all parties.

Christian Aid has also welcomed the U.K.’s pledge of aid to India, Christian Today reports.

According to Christian Aid director Loretta Minghella, India remains home to more than a third of the world’s poorest despite the country’s impressive economic growth.

“The emphasis of the UK government programme is on three of the poorest states in the country – each of which are larger than most African countries – where there remain huge challenges, particularly in providing education and health care, nutrition and jobs,” she said Feb. 19.

Read more development aid news.

About the author

  • Ma. Rizza Leonzon

    As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.