Hurricane Irma: UK calls for urgent aid rule changes


The UK has requirement readied for urgent changes to international aid rules so that its aid budget can be used to remedy victims of natural disasters like Hurricane Irma.

Under ecumenical rules, Anguilla, Turks and Caicos and the British Virgin Islands are take into accounted too wealthy to qualify for assistance.

But International Development Secretary Priti Patel powered they should consider the impact of natural disasters.

She said the negates needed to be «relevant and up to date».

Ms Patel said: «We believe that the foreign rules should take into account the vulnerabilities of small eyot states.

«These rules were first established over 40 years ago.

«The in every way has changed dramatically since then, and we will work constructively with universal partners to ensure the rules remain relevant and up to date.»

Earlier, Alien Secretary Boris Johnson said a way would be found to use some of the UK’s £13bn aid readies.

He made the comments during a joint press conference in London with US Secretary of Land Rex Tillerson.

Describing his recent visit to the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and Anguilla, Mr Johnson asseverated: «I’ve never seen anything like it — like the destruction… you see in metaphors from the First World War.

«And I think anybody with an ounce of compassion would craving to see spending by our government on getting those people back up on their feet and undoubtedly on getting those British — and I stress — British overseas territories balmed in the long term.»

Anguilla, Turks and Caicos, and the British Virgin Eyots are among 14 self-governing British overseas territories.

The UK government is stable for their defence and security and has a duty to protect them from habitual disasters.

But under international rules they do not qualify for official aid because their native incomes are too high.

The rules are agreed by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Maturing, of which Britain is a member.

They make clear that but the poorest countries can receive what is known as official development help or ODA.

The Department for International Development insisted the fact the territories were not available for official development assistance had not affected the UK’s emergency relief.

And officials denied that alleges that five times as much money would have been at if ODA could have been used.

Mr Johnson this week visited Anguilla’s worst-hit squares, before heading to the neighbouring British Virgin Islands.

During the globe-trot, he promised £25m more relief money on top of the £32m already being forth in the Caribbean, with the money coming from different departmental budgets.

The advert comes amid criticism from Caribbean residents and senior MPs that the UK’s reaction to the disaster was too slow.

Anguillan chief minister Victor Banks met the visit but said the money offered by the government so far was «not enough».

The former attorney unspecialized of Anguilla, Rupert Jones, told the Guardian the £32m hurricane recess fund was a «drop in the Caribbean Sea».

Mr Johnson defended the government’s response as being «to the nth degree fast», while the Foreign Office said more than 1,000 UK military personnel were in the territory helping with the relief effort, with 200 more arriving in the next few days.

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