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MSF statement: Aid must not be hijacked as a political tool
STATEMENT: MSF is deeply concerned at the recent statements by the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, proposing to use more DFID funding to stabilise conflict-affected states in order to further national security interests.
The international medical aid organisation, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is deeply concerned at the recent statements by the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, proposing to use more DFID funding to stabilise conflict-affected states in order to further national security interests.
MSF sees these comments as part of a dangerous trend where the British government uses overseas aid to do politics rather than to help those most in need.
A clear example of this is in Afghanistan, where the UK has used humanitarian aid as part of their ‘hearts and minds’ campaign. Health clinics have been built in order to promote the British government’s military and political objectives, rather than because they were needed or could be sustained. The result is that many of these facilities, paid for by the British taxpayer, are unused or lie empty.
DFID is one of the world's leading donors. Used in response to genuine human need, its funding saves countless lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable people. Today we risk seeing a shift from this fundamental idea of helping people, at a time when funding for global health is already under threat and DFID's bilateral funding for HIV has been reduced.
MSF refuses to take funding from any government, including the UK, for our work in conflict situations, precisely because of the risk of being associated with political and military objectives. We believe that this is a safeguard for our independence and ensures that we are not seen by any of the warring parties to belong to one side or another.
For interviews or for further information, please contact MSF UK Senior Press Officer, Heather Pagano, on firstname.lastname@example.org or 44 7770 235 740.