OECD redefines foreign aid to include some military spending

Another way to conveniently increase the military spending while pretending otherwise.

The definition of foreign aid has been changed to include some military spending, in a move that charities fear will lead to less cash being spent on directly alleviating poverty.

The change in wording was agreed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) after the UK and other countries lobbied to be allowed to use overseas aid budgets to support the military and security forces in fragile countries, as long as this still promotes development goals.

Under the new rules, official aid can be used to support the military in fragile countries on issues that promote development, such as human rights and the prevention of sexual violence.

The OECD also said tackling violent extremism is now formally recognised as a development activity, with more than 90% of terrorist attacks occurring in states with weak governance and poor human rights records. It said the core principle of the overseas aid system remains unchanged, as an activity that must “support the economic development and welfare of a developing country as its main objective”.

OECD redefines foreign aid to include some military spending