Foreign Aid Spending Could Be ‘More Productive For Peace, Security’ Than War
The Conversation: Aid not war — can foreign aid projects help improve national security?
Mick McKeown, reader in democratic mental health at the University of Central Lancashire, and Nicola Lowe, professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Central Lancashire
“The overseas aid budget is coming under attack, both in the U.K. and the USA. But that shortsighted view does not take into account how working together to help communities suffering under the shadow of terrorism can actually help us combat extremism. Our research illustrated how money raised in north-west England changed the lives of people in north-west Pakistan by advancing nutrition and providing health care. … The initiative we worked on was a collaboration between a U.K.-based charity, the Abaseen Foundation, and its partner NGO in Pakistan. … An independent review of the project noted the ‘enormous impact’ it had in providing access to previously absent health services for marginalized peoples and — importantly — thoroughly engaging the support of the community to create a sustainable legacy. … Abaseen’s work represents an exemplar of the effective management of overseas aid funding. … A case can be made that spending on aid rather than war may be more productive for peace and security…” (7/14).