Guernsey deputy calls for end to overseas aid

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A Guernsey deputy has called for the island to stop sending money overseas.

Deputy Lester Queripel said there were many problems in Guernsey that should be dealt with first.

The Overseas Aid Commission has an annual budget of £2.5m and funded 80 humanitarian projects in 2012.

Deputy Queripel said he wanted to use the money currently spent on overseas aid to help pensioners, increase fuel allowance and appoint another court judge.

He applauded the work being done by the Overseas Aid Commission, but said the millions of pounds sent off-island would be better used to deal with a "multitude of problems in Guernsey".

Projects to receive funding from the commission include schemes to provide basic sanitation, agricultural projects, medical care and education facilities.

Deputy Mike O'Hara, commission chairman, said he understood concerns over sending money overseas during an economic downtown.

He said: "The commission was very mindful that Guernsey is currently experiencing challenging economic circumstances and this may lead to comments that any funds and resources should be directed to local needs.

"However, despite such challenges and wealth distribution disparities across the community, Guernsey is a relatively wealthy community with a range of statutory and non-statutory agencies and organisations providing additional support."

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