Brits are a very charitable bunch. We donate close to £10 billion a year out of our own pockets to all sorts of charitable causes. Some of these causes are all about helping people in poorer areas of the world, some are more about helping people in the UK and some are about finding solutions to problems that can affect all of us, no matter where we live. If we look at charities that specifically help those in other countries and those that help people in the UK, which would you give to? Would you help people living in other countries or people living in your own country? Should charity start at home or not?
Yes – let’s help our own first
Though the UK is a very successful country in many ways and has one of the world’s strongest economies, just like other countries around the world it’s not without its problems. There are many, many people up and down the country who rely on charity to get by, whether it’s people made homeless, people suffering from terrible diseases or people who find themselves in financial difficulties through no fault of their own. Surely it makes sense to help the people closest to you – your friends, family, colleagues – first. If you see people suffering, even if it’s strangers in the street where you live, surely it’s more beneficial to help them rather than send your money overseas to not see the effects of your donations? How would people who really need help feel if you could help them, but instead you chose to spend your money on helping people in a totally different part of the world?
No – there are plenty of people in need of help all over the world
An argument for sending charitable donations to people in other countries is that things can be generally a lot worse for those people. Someone who’s suffering in the UK, you could argue, has a much better chance of getting help, getting access to the necessary facilities and getting back on their feet. Many countries aren’t as developed as the UK, so the people there do need a lot of help, both financially and in lots of other areas. While there are undoubtedly people in the UK who need help, aid money can be a lot more effective if it’s sent overseas because it can go a lot further. When it comes to sending charity donations to poorer overseas countries, it’s about coming together to really make a difference for those countries and the people who live there. The UK is already really well developed, so these donations are, if anything, about bringing the standards of other countries up to the same as the UK’s
What do you think?
When it comes to donating to charities, should you prioritise those that help people nearby, or those that help people in other countries? Is it right to give money to people far away when there are people close by who need the money just as much, if not more so? Is it right to give money to those in developed countries, as opposed to those in much less developed countries? There’s no right or wrong answer to this issue, but how do you decide where to send your money when there are always going to be so many people in need of it?