Worker’s Party (Singapore) on…International Development!

Disclaimer: I AM NOT  a member of any Singaporean political party or any political party in any country.

You don’t here this from the government but surprisingly, from the up and coming opposition party in Singapore:

Many developed countries in the United Nations have committed to target an ODA contribution of 0.7% of gross national income (GNI). What is Singapore’s ODA as a percentage of GNI?

While I don’t expect Singapore to target 0.7%, are there plans to increase our ODA contribution in the future?

Does the Government see international development as a cost-effective way of furthering our foreign policy goals?

Given the multifaceted nature of international relations today, what is the role the Government sees international development playing in the years ahead?

http://wp.sg/2014/03/cos-2014-debate-mfa-international-development-ncmp-gerald-giam/

Mr. Giam, however may have incorrectly defined Official Development Assistance which is:

i.  provided by official agencies, including state and local governments, or by their executive agencies; and

ii.  each transaction of which:

a)  is administered with the promotion of the economic development and welfare of developing countries as its main objective; and
b)  is concessional in character and conveys a grant element of at least 25 per cent (calculated at a rate of discount of 10 per cent).”

See: http://www.oecd.org/dac/stats/officialdevelopmentassistancedefinitionandcoverage.htm#Coverage

It is dubious if scholarships to foreign students who study in the “donor state” can be counted as OECD’s definition of ODA. More of it is discussed here and in this link. After all, the OECD doesn’t exactly exclude educational scholarships as ODA, see this definition.

In any case, it is surprising and yet refreshing to know that the Worker’s Party in Singapore mentions international development as a topic.

Once again: I am not, repeat not a member of any political party.

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