The Scottish National Party firmly believes that all international development funding should be people-centred, transparent and help the world’s poorest people.
These values are at the heart of the SNP Scottish Government’s international development programme and were epitomised by its launch of the world’s first Climate Justice Fund (CJF) in 2012.
Since then, the CJF has planted more than 122,000 trees, given more than 70,000 people in sub-Saharan Africa access to safe drinking water and provided more than 110,000 people with training in climate change and water rights issues. It is a people-centred, human-rights approach that aims to share the benefits of equitable global development and the burdens of climate change fairly.
Chris Law MP, the SNP’s international development spokesperson has acknowledged a worrying increase in rhetoric from the Department for International Development about diverting money from the aid budget for other purposes, and has called upon the UK Government to reverse the trend of aid being viewed through the prism of national and commercial interest, rather than one of tackling poverty and inequality
On multiple occasions, my SNP colleague Patrick Grady MP has raised the issue of “double counting” development funding in the House of Commons, a practice where military spending is counted towards both the ODA 0.7% expenditure goal and the 2% NATO target. The SNP urges the UK Government to end accounting tricks of this kind and report aid spending in a transparent way.
The SNP have been clear: foreign aid spending should never be used for defence. Aid spending must contribute to sustainable development and the fight against poverty, injustice and inequality internationally.
The SNP will continue to press the UK Government uphold its commitment to spending 0.7 per cent of GDP on aid, and to ensure that such funding is accountable and transparent.