In the UK the coalition originally agreed that they would pledge 0.7% of GDP to Foreign Aid by 2015. They are now back tracking on that. Times are tough and the electorate is not feeling the love of spending hard earned tax revenue abroad. Sweden spends 1.5% of their GDP, Luxembourg spends 1.4% and the USA spends a mere 0.19%.
$300 billion has been spent on international aid since 1970 and yet we have seen an increase in poverty in countries that have received the aid. Some would argue that aid creates dependency and undermines local business and economies. However others will argue that pledging and distributing Foreign Aid is very much within national self interests.
It is interesting that in most communities the people that shout the loudest about the travesty of Foreign Aid are the same people that should the loudest about immigration and undocumented workers. Governments in the West are wishing to try and slow the flow of migrants and asylum seekers from third world nations, logically then it makes sense to try and stabilise the countries where immigrants come from to minimise the need for migration.
We cannot build a fortress around the West and say we are not interested. Fundamentally, when you get down to brass tacks, Foreign Aid saves lives and should we not help the least among us even when times are tough?