International aid is often considered to be a guide to how ‘developed’ a nation is. No country can claim to be truly civilized unless they give away a little of their hard earned wealth to another, less developed nation.
Obviously, to prove their worth, the donor nation tends to hype their donations. Hell, what’s the point in doing good if the international equivalent of Mrs Jones at number 27 doesn’t know all about it.
So you get headlines like “Developed nation gives £800m to third world neighbour”. Which really should have been plastered all over this:
The Irish Republic is for the first time to spend money on Northern Ireland’s infrastructure.
The Irish government’s National Development Plan for 2007-2013 will be published later.
About 1.2 billion euro of that 180 billion euro will head north. That is about £800m and is roughly 7% of the total spend.
It is expected that some of this money will, inevitably, go on cross border initiatives. But some will go on other things that need it badly: the road network in the west of the province, and some of the health service in border areas*.
And I for one welcome our new Celtic Tiger overlords. I’d like to remind them that as a trusted blog personality, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground sugar caves.
* – turn about being fair play, I suppose, considering how many people from t’other side of the border who get NHS treatment…