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Theresa May 'frustrated' that UK cannot use aid budget to help hurricane victims

Theresa May 'frustrated' that UK cannot use aid budget to help hurricane victims
1 min read

Theresa May is "frustrated" that Britain has been stopped from using its international aid budget to help the victims of Hurricane Irma.

The Government has pledged £57m to help Anguilla, Turks and Caicos and the British Virgin Islands recover from the effects of the storm.

But the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris, which decides what officially constitutes foreign aid, says the islands are too rich to qualify.

It means the Government will have to find the cash from other budgets to meet its commitments to the overseas territories.

A Downing Street spokesman said: "The Prime Minister is frustrated with the rules as they stand. That is why ministers have been tasked with working to change them.

"The manifesto said while Britain is proud to meet the 0.7 per cent target for overseas aid spending, there are still ways we can improve the way taxpayers money is used and to help the world’s most vulnerable people.

"In particular, the Prime Minister said she does not believe international definitions of development assistance always help in determining how money should be spent.”

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson also waded into the row.

He said: "I think anybody with an ounce of compassion would like to see spending by our government helping these people get back on their feet and getting these British overseas territories helped in the long term."

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