Overseas Aid: A Statement by Oxfam

Since 1995/96 official government Aid has been slashed by 12.5 per cent in real terms – that’s 280 million which could have been invested in the future of poor communities.
Write now to your MP, care of Oxfam, at the address below. If you don’t tell your MP you care about Aid, the cuts will continue. And, make no mistake, Aid is desperately needed:
* One quarter of the world’s population still lives in absol ute poverty.
* 35,000 children die each day from preventable diseases.
* 800 million people go hungry, 500 million suffer chronic malnutrition.
* Refugee numbers have increased nine times over in the last 20 years.
* There are now 42 million refugees and displaced people in the world.

Make the following points, in your own words, when you write, preferably on a postcard:

Aid Saves Lives. Relatively inexpensive technologies such as immunisation and oral rehydration can combat disease and save lives.
Spend Now, Save later. Prev-ention is better – and cheaper – than cure. Aid can promote long-term development and economic growth. Development relieves poverty, one factor behind many conflicts. By using Aid wisely, we can help to prevent wars and environmental catastrophes, which means we can save huge bills for emergency relief in the future.
Aid is a Hand Up, not a Hand Out. It helps individuals and communities to help themselves. Aid gets to places which private investment fails to reach. For instance, over two thirds of the money flowing into Sub-Saharan Africa is Aid. Without it there is very little investment for these countries and no chance of improving the lives of their people. Aid is vital.
Aid is in Everyone’s Interest. Poverty and inequality fuel international problems like wars, environmental disasters, epidemics and mass migrations. Aid can help to reduce these threats and help both richer and poorer nations. Aid isn’t just morally right – it makes good economic sense for us all, and makes the world a safer place.

Write to :
The Director, Oxfam Wales, 46 - 48 Station Road, Llanishen, Cardiff CF4 5LU, Wales, UK. Tel: 00 44 29 20 757067.

Published in The Green Dragon No 3, Summer, 1996.

Please note that the statement reproduced above was issued by Oxfam in 1996. However, the condition of the Third World has not improved since then. The figures may be different now but the message still carries weight…