The Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF) has welcomed the UK Government’s commitment to meeting its pledge to provide 0.7 per cent gross national income for aid, a pledge first made by world governments in 1970. Speculation that the lines between development objectives and defence spending may be blurred could put the credibility of our aid in danger, particularly in the communities in which it is delivered.
Like the Prime Minister, we understand peace is vital if developing countries are to flourish. SCIAF believes, however, that peace is best achieved when investment is focused firmly on meeting development goals.
That means resources should be directed towards education, nutrition, agriculture and addressing the impact of a changing climate. Addressing these areas will help to prevent many future conflicts arising.
SCIAF’s own programme work in countries recovering from war and conflict – such as Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, focuses on building trust between different people at a family and community level through programmes of education, peace and reconciliation.
Development aid must have at its heart the value and dignity of the human beings it is designed to serve.