The Daily Mail has joined the call for the UK 11 billion overseas aid budget to be used to aid people affected by floods in the UK. Of course we are concerned for those in the UK whose homes have been flooded or who find themselves cut off. Every day we hear people’s distress and despair at the loss of their livelihoods, belongings and properties.
But this is not a competition.
Wherever you live in the world, having your home or land flooded can be utterly devastating.
Our experiences in the UK should be cause for empathy and solidarity with all who suffer, regardless of nationality.
We are pleased that in many flood-affected UK communities, churches have responded with offers of food, shelter and support. But there is also strong desire to see the UK play its part in the international effort to lift people out of poverty and to contribute to disaster relief.
The Daily Mail has launched a campaign and clearly sees an opportunity to feed on criticism of the UK’s tiny commitment of 0.7% of GDP to Overseas Aid. The paper asks people to write to the Prime Minister to get overseas aid diverted to help those suffering flood damage in the UK.
I have written the Daily Mail on behalf of our Churches:
In developing countries severe floods often result in hundreds of deaths and tens of thousands of ruined homes. Our experience of flooding in Britain causes us to empathise with those who face much greater risks. In this light, the suggestion that we divert money from the aid budget to tackle flood damage in the UK seems somewhat perverse.
Joint Public Issues Team – Baptist, Methodist and United Reformed Churches working together.
Why not write to David Cameron, asking him not to shirk our global responsibilities but to respond with the generosity we are known for as one of the world’s leading economies?