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Thread by @dlsgibson: "My time as a journalist taught me to disbelieve two things above all else, that the cheque is in the post and coincidences, with that in min […]" #Oxfam #ForeignAidBudget #ForeignAid

14 tweets
My time as a journalist taught me to disbelieve two things above all else, that the cheque is in the post and coincidences, with that in mind I have a little something to say about the @oxfamgb story.... 1/14
The actions of those staff members involved are without a doubt disgraceful and deserve full condemnation, however, the way in which the story has been latched onto to provide cover for a full government review of all the government's work with @Oxfam seems, timely. 2/14
It's worth pointing out that there wasn't some massive conspiracy by #Oxfam to cover up the scandal. As soon as the allegations came to light the charity launched a full internal inquiry. 3/14
This inquiry led to the dismissal of four members of staff involved, three more resigned before the investigation was completed, and the creation of both a dedicated Safeguarding Team and a confidential whistle blowing line to prevent a similar occurrence in the future. 4/14
Should these have been in place earlier, possibly, but it is hard to plan for everything and the key thing in any organisation when an issue is identified is to ensure that measures are taken to prevent it happening again, which is exactly what Oxfam did. 5/14
Oxfam employs thousands of people worldwide, with many thousands more volunteers on top of that. To condemn the whole charity for the actions, since dealt with, of a few seems...excessive, however in the current political climate it also seems inevitable. 6/14
This week @Jacob_Rees_Mogg and @dailyexpressuk took it upon themselves to call for reduction in the #ForeignAidBudget, which currently accounts for 0.7% of gross national income and provides far more benefits than it costs, see here medium.com/@dlsgibson82/r… 7/14
The @DFID_UK Minister @PennyMordaunt has spoken earlier this year about repurposing #ForeignAid funds and her predecessor @patel4witham was fired not for suggesting that funds could be used to support the Isreali army but for how she went about it 8/14
The Foreign Aid budget itself is broken down into about 37% going to multilateral organisations and 63% to bilateral, in other words to organisations and then to specific countries. 9/14
This has garnered opposition from all sides with some wanting to see more spent directly in the countries needing it and some wanting to see more dedicated to organisations because they don't believe that direct aid goes to those who need it 10/14
This current situation is coming across strongly as a stalking horse by those who want to see the UK cut back on the spending entirely though, and use what is left as effectively an offshoot of other government agencies 11/14
The irony is that the Foreign Aid budget should be the right's greatest achievement, it increases UK soft power, decreases security concerns and migration initiators and helps secure long term trade opportunities 12/14
As it is it's seen as money being sent abroad, no matter what purpose, and therefore waste. I foresee the government will use Oxfam scandal as yet another means by which to diminish an already woefully underfunded resource, and in doing so cause damage it can't even imagine 13/14
Oxfam launched its enquiry in 2011. At a time when the government is making such a concerted attack on foreign aid it seems just a little too coincidental that in 2018 it decides now is right time to review working with Oxfam, and to be sure other charities will follow. 14/14
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