Aid – the serious misconceptions

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The Observer has reported that Action Aid has commissioned ICM to undertake a poll to find out how much the UK government really spends on development. Staggeringly the finding was that:

respondents guessed that the government spent an average of 18.5 per cent of its budget on developing countries.

The actual number is 1.3%.

Two things seem to flow from this. First the government has a serious problem on its hands in communicating just what it does spend money on. This reinforces my point that governments (starting with that in the UK) have a duty to massively improve the quality of their reporting to the people to whom they are accountable - the electorate. Second, people don't realise how little support is really given to development. It's time they did - and the government has a role in that as well.