St Helena Online

Tag: British aid

DfID sets out to tackle St Helena diabetes and cut aid

The diabetes crisis on St Helena has been picked out as one of the main targets for action by the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID).

It also wants to reduce the island’s dependence on British aid.

The incidence of the killer disease is five times higher on St Helena than the global average – and rising, according to The Castle. It said one in seven people on the island had been diagnosed with the condition in the early months of 2013.

The latest DfID update on its work in the UK’s overseas territories identifies several key targets – including the building of St Helena’s airport.

It says its main objectives for the 14 overseas territories are to:

  • Reduce DFID’s contribution to total overseas territory government revenues.
  • Increase the number of students passing GCSE English and Maths by 17% in Montserrat. 
  • Increase the proportion of diabetes patients in St Helena with blood glucose levels under control from 56% to 70%.
  • Construct an airport on St Helena to improve air access.
  • Agree a way forward for the construction of a new town and port in Montserrat to improve sea access and generate tourism.

It wants to see British contribution to St Helena’s government revenues fall from 58% to 50% by 2014/15, and from 60% to a yet-to-be agreed figure for Montserrat.

Only St Helena, Montserratt and the Turks and Caicos Islands have long-term dependency on British aid.

SEE ALSO:St Helena’s diabetes crisis – story archive

LINK: Summary of DfID’s work in overseas territories, June 2013

Welcome to St Helena – a tax dodger’s paradise?

What’s the difference between St Helena and a billionaire’s financial playground? Nothing, to judge by a jibe from the British Labour MP Denis MacShane.

In a Parliamentary Question on the recent overseas territories White Paper, he asked:

“Can the Minister confirm that there are two banks, mutual funds or tax-dodging offshore companies for every citizen of the Cayman Islands? Will the new White Paper deal with the fact that around the world the overseas territories and dependencies are seen as the tax evader’s paradise network?”

Alan Duncan, Minister of State for International Development, did not exactly rush to the defence of blameless territories such as St Helena and, come to that, Pitcairn Island, neither of which is known for large-scale financial grubbiness.

Instead, he gave a rather straight-laced response, saying he could “assure the right hon. Gentleman that DFID is not providing any financial aid to tax havens.”

(Source: They Work For You)