In these challenging times of the cost-of-living crisis in the UK, foreign aid remains an important yet often overlooked topic.

As we navigate through our struggles, it is crucial to understand the profound impact of supporting local businesses and extending aid to countries in need, fostering a positive ripple effect on our own economy.

Though the cost of aid may seem daunting, its benefits for both global communities and our domestic markets make it a worthy investment.

In a world where more than a billion people are living on just $1.25, the urgency of foreign aid cannot be denied.

However, contrary to common belief, foreign aid accounts for only a meagre 0.5 per cent of budgetary spending in the UK, a decline from 0.7 per cent in recent years.

This relatively small investment in helping the less fortunate can yield significant returns for the UK, particularly for our local businesses.

Our local businesses are the backbone of our economy, and it's essential to recognise their aspirations to expand beyond domestic boundaries and engage with the global market.

By providing aid to countries in need, we empower their populations to interact with the global market, creating new consumers of UK products. This reciprocal relationship benefits both sides, presenting an ideal win-win situation.

Take Basingstoke and Deane, for example, with their enormous potential for exporting manufactured and electronic goods.

Embracing global interactions through foreign aid can boost the competitiveness of local businesses against larger supermarkets, nurturing an environment where small businesses can flourish and contribute to the local economy.

At the forefront of advocating for global poverty as a focus of UK foreign policy is the Borgen Project.

This remarkable non-profit organization strives to educate, mobilize, and promote essential legislation like the Official Development Assistance (ODA) to enhance living conditions for those in impoverished nations.

The impact of legislation like ODA extends beyond the borders of struggling countries. These efforts lead to the creation of new jobs, markets, and the reinforcement of national security via political stability abroad.

As an ambassador of the Borgen Project, I urge others to consider the significance of foreign aid and its potential to empower local businesses and uplift our nation's economy.

Even the smallest acts, such as reaching out to local MPs to support critical legislation like ODA, can make a difference.

Charlotte Bessant

Gaston Lane,

South Warnborough,


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