As new crises appear on an almost daily basis in an international arena, it can seem difficult to decipher between them, and also to understand where, how and why the UK should be involved. At a senior government level this issue is creating great rifts, as demands to cut foreign aid are rising. Proposals to divert money from foreign aid to enhance Britain’s combined defence and security budget continue. The UK is currently the world’s third biggest donor spending £13bn per year on aid.
One of the areas that is being very positively supported by UK is that in the fight against neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). As reported in the Independent ahead of a three day summit Priti Patel announced that Britain is to invest almost half a billion pounds of international funding to tackle some of these diseases affecting 200 million people in Ethiopia, Sudan, Bangladesh and India. “These diseases belong to the last century,” Ms Patel said. “They cause unimaginable suffering and pain to some of the world’s poorest people, forcing them into a deeper cycle of poverty with no way out. Yet they are treatable.”