How to more efficiently manage UK foreign aid

I fully support our new International Development Secretary, Priti Patel, who promises that “Britain will withhold foreign aid money if performance countries' targets are not met”, as reported in the Telegraph.

I believe that since foreign aid won't miraculously disappear at any point in the foreseeable future, as Conservatives, perhaps one possible solution would also be for the UK to directly manage aid monies on projects we approve of - instead of simply handing over cash to developing countries. If they refuse, we would simply refuse to hand over the cash. One would presume that this course of action may require some degree of renegotiation at a UN level to ensure its legality.

Secondly, perhaps the UK could focus primarily on funding entrepreneurship and helping developing countries learn money making, money management and wealth distribution skills. The notion of foreign aid that doesn’t teach the man to fish is detestable. 

Our objective in Britain should be to help developing countries actually develop sustainable middle classes that won’t feel a need to migrate in masses. 

Furthermore, if their countries are economically well off and wealth is distributed in a way which creates a sustainable middle class, we will also reduce the numbers of people that migrate for life – especially those that may have values that clash with our own. 

If foreign aid were to actually develop the intended target countries, an unintended consequence would be that fewer highly skilled individuals from said countries would feel a need to migrate to the UK - which in essence may force more Britons to acquire university degrees – hopefully in STEM - to fill the skills shortage. Win win.

Most importantly, one should remember that only the educated class can truly sustainably develop any given country. Developing countries are experiencing massive brain drains, because only in the West can the people they painstakingly educate truly get an ROI on their education – as has been in my own life experience. 

Those that are left behind in said countries lack the skills required to lead and develop their nations – which leads to a further need for aid from the UK and greater levels of corruption overseas.  

At the end, the unintended consequence of foreign aid is that we are creating societies wholly indebted and enslaved by ‘neo-colonial liberal self-righteousness’, which gives the rescuers a sense of purpose in life - instead of developing truly sustainable societies that can trade with us on an equal footing as equitable partners. 

A sensible approach to the management of UK foreign aid may result in a reduction in immigration to Britain and a reduction in corruption overseas; not to mention money well spent on behalf of the British tax payer.


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Wilford Augustus, Partner at Trade Bridge Group London, and Deputy Chairman Political for Bayswater Ward, Westminster Conservatives. All political views expressed herein are his and not those of the UK Conservative Party. This article was first published on