Pound's plunge slashes value of foreign aid by £334m, claim Tories

THE massive slide in sterling has wiped hundreds of millions of pounds off the value of Britain's aid to developing countries, it emerged today.

The slump in the currency has reduced the value of the UK's international aid budget by the equivalent of up to 334 million since Gordon Brown became Prime Minister, according to research by the Conservatives.

While the headlines have been dominated by the pound's fall against the euro, it has also devalued against other currencies of poorer countries.

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It is down 22 per cent against the Bangladeshi taka since June last year; 19 per cent against the Tanzanian shilling and 17 per cent against the Nigerian naira.

The losses are worth more than Britain gives to South America, the Caribbean, central Asia and the Middle East combined, said Andrew Mitchell, the shadow international development secretary.

Mr Mitchell said: "Not only have Gordon Brown's economic policies been a disaster for people in Britain, but the slump in our currency is also directly affecting the value of our support to poor people around the world."

The economic downturn is also expected to make people more reluctant to give to international charities as they focus on their domestic finances.