Department for International Development

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:41 pm on 1st July 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Laurence Robertson Laurence Robertson Conservative, Tewkesbury 4:41 pm, 1st July 2019

The hon. Gentleman makes a good point. Of course, countries working together has to be the way forward, but the system really does have to be accountable, transparent and delivered efficiently and effectively. When it is those things, it is obvious that countries working together is a good thing.

All that takes me to another point: we all want humanitarian assistance to be provided—I certainly do, and we certainly do provide it—and it is easy to justify that, but we also want to see countries being given the building blocks and facilities to develop. Gareth Thomas gave the example of the civil servants in Ghana. Tax-raising and collecting authorities in such countries are important. The problem is that it is sometimes difficult to explain to our constituents the difference between development aid as opposed to humanitarian aid. It is not always easily understood. It is important that we help countries to build the capacity to move forward. The old adage about giving a man or woman a fish and feeding them for a day or teaching them how to fish so that they can feed themselves for a lifetime is absolutely right. We have to find ways to do that, or we will never make the progress in the world that we all want to see.