Britain’s aid to World Bank for poor nations spent on projects in Iran, China

      Concerns over Britain’s spending on foreign aid have been raised after it was disclosed that it is helping support projects in Iran and China. The Department for International Development (DfID) is a key supporter of the World Bank, a body charged with helping develop poorer countries through grants.

The bank, set up after World War II, is funded by developed countries, of which Britain is fifth largest behind America , Japan , Germany and France, who put in a pool of cash, which provides capital on easy terms to poorer countries. According to the Telegraph, however, the amount of aid given to the World Bank raised new concerns over how aid funds are spent, and there is also concern over some of the World Bank’s loan schemes. Britain gave a 50-million-pound-loan for a road safety campaign to improve Iran ’s appalling road accident rate, despite the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, holding a PhD in traffic management. The country gave 30 million pounds in loan for the coast of a Confucius “cultural heritage protection” project in China . Last year, DfID contributed 953.4 million pounds to the World Bank. British taxpayers therefore have a stake in every World Bank loan, the report said.

According to the report, Britain is still giving aid to ‘middle income’ countries through its contributions to the World Bank, despite the government’s recent pledge to limit loans to only the neediest nations. The lack of control that Britain has over how its foreign aid budget is spent by international bodies was highlighted last week, when it was revealed that British aid cash channelled through the EU is being spent on projects such as tourism parks in Iceland and energy-efficient holiday complexes in Morocco, the report added.

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