Isle of Man paper plate protest raises aid concerns

Plates Hundreds of plates were decorated with messages asking the government to increase its overseas aid

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Campaigners have handed hundreds of empty plates to politicians outside Tynwald to raise awareness of the island's overseas aid contributions.

The Point 1 campaign group wants to see the island increase its overseas aid commitment from 0.07% of its gross national income (GNI) to 0.1%.

The current 0.07% equates to less than £28 per person, per year.

The paper plates were handed over to Environment Minister Phil Gawne and Health Minister David Anderson.

Children, charities and other island residents decorated the plates with messages asking the Manx government to act ahead of June's G8 summit in Northern Ireland.

A spokeswoman for the group said the messages illustrate how "unfair the world food system is".

Start Quote

Rosemary Clarke

At a time when 1 in 8 people go to bed hungry, we need governments to put measures in place which tackle these issues”

End Quote Rosemary Clarke One World Centre

Last year a petition signed by 2,000 Isle of Man residents who want to see the government increase its commitment to overseas aid to 0.7% was handed over to the Chief Minister.

The chairman of the Isle of Man's Overseas Aid Committee, Phil Gawne MHK, said: "There is no doubt that the island is not meeting the 0.7% target set by the UN, but we are helping with a number of important projects around the world."

Rosemary Clarke, director of the One World Centre, said: "At a time when 1 in 8 people go to bed hungry, we need governments to put measures in place which tackle these issues.

"It would be great if the Manx Government took the step of increasing our International Development Budget to 0.1% as a step towards the UN target."

The Isle of Man currently pays less than both Jersey and Guernsey. In 2012, Guernsey gave 0.14% of their GNI and Jersey gave almost 0.2%.

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