February 2024
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Why should bankrupt Brits pay for Arab refugees, when rich Arabs don’t give a damn?

Here we go again. A bunch of Arabs get all hot and bothered and start smiting each other. This time it’s Syria. Something to do with the Sunnis hating the Shiites, and the Shiites hating the Alawites, and the Alawites hating the Sunnis, and the Sunnis hating the Alawites and the Alawites hating the Shiites, the Muslim fundamentalists hating everybody and so on and so forth. Thus has it always been and thus will it always be.

Of course, this internecine and totally pointless bloodshed leads to loads of refugees and the Disasters and Emergencies Committee (DEC) launches a big TV and press campaign appealing for us Brits to donate money to help the refugees.

The pictures of displaced families and orphaned children living in refugee camp squalor are heartbreaking. But is it really our problem? Should it really be us Brits who have to pay for the results of the Syrian mess, while rich Arab countries don’t seem to give a toss about their own people?

The GDP for Qatar’s 1.9 million people is around $88,314 per capita. For Kuwait’s 3.6 million people it’s $54,283 per capita. For the United Arab Emirates’ 8.2 million people it’s $47,893 per capita. Whereas Britain’s GDP per capita is just $35,657. If these three rich Arab countries donated just a modest $100 for each of their 13.7 million people, there would be a fund of $1.37bn to help refugees in Syrian and throughout the Arab world. That’s quite a lot of money.

I already pointed out on my blog a couple of days ago that tonight Britain’s budget for foreign aid shoots up from £7.9bn last financial year to £10.5bn this financial year. This is a pretty impressive rise of £2.6bn (up 33%) at a time when 40,000 are being sacked from our armed forces and when police numbers are being cut by 32,400. Coincidentally, just this £2.6bn increase in foreign aid is enough to comfortably pay for the 32,400 police and 40,000 military who are losing their jobs.

Yes, the situation in Syria is bad. Yes, we should all feel sorry for the refugees. But should we be the ones paying to help them? Or is it time for oil-rich Arabs to show some concern for their own people?

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