A very bit­ter pill for UK tax­pay­ers to swal­low

Bri­tain funds £45m fam­ily plan­ning pro­gramme in Tan­za­nia... as pres­i­dent says women who do not want chil­dren are just ‘lazy’

The Mail on Sunday - - News - By Mark Wood

AN AFRICAN na­tion whose pres­i­dent has caused out­rage by claim­ing women who use birth con­trol are ‘lazy’ is be­ing given £45 mil­lion in Bri­tish for­eign aid – to pro­mote fam­ily plan­ning.

John Magu­fuli shocked a pub­lic rally in Tan­za­nia last week by telling fol­low­ers not to lis­ten to ad­vice from for­eign­ers on con­tra­cep­tion be­cause it had ‘sin­is­ter mo­tives’.

He made his bizarre com­ments de­spite the fact that the De­part­ment for In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment (DFID) is pour­ing mil­lions into two sep­a­rate ini­tia­tives pro­mot­ing birth con­trol in Tan­za­nia.

At the rally in Meatu on Wed­nes­day, Mr Magu­fuli said: ‘Those go­ing for fam­ily plan­ning are lazy. They are afraid they will not be able to feed their chil­dren. They do not want to work hard to feed a large fam­ily and that is why they opt for birth con­trols and end up with one or two chil­dren only.’

Fa­ther-of-two Magu­fuli, who was elected in 2015, said it was ‘im­por­tant to re­pro­duce’.

He added: ‘ I have trav­elled to Europe and else­where and have seen the harm­ful ef­fects of birth con­trol.

‘Some coun­tries are now fac­ing de­clin­ing pop­u­la­tion growth. They are short on man­power. You have cat­tle. You are big farm­ers. You can feed your chil­dren. Why then re­sort to birth con­trol? I see no rea­son to con­trol births in Tan­za­nia.’

Mr Magu­fuli’s out­burst will fuel fresh crit­i­cism of Bri­tain’s bloated for­eign aid bud­get, which re­ceives 0.7 per cent of the UK’s Gross Na­tional In­come – cur­rently about £14 bil­lion.

Peter Bone, Tory MP for Welling­bor­ough, said: ‘It is hard to be­lieve his com­ments in this day and age, but if that is his view, what are we do­ing wast­ing money on birth con­trol in Tan­za­nia?’

DFI D cur­rently sets aside £153 mil­lion a year for projects in Tan­za­nia. It launched a scheme called Scal­ing Up Fam­ily Plan­ning last year, which has a to­tal bud­get of £23.5 mil­lion.

And in 2014, a sep­a­rate ini­tia­tive, the Fam­ily Plan­ning Out­reach Pro­gramme, was set up with a to­tal bud­get of £22 mil­lion. In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment Sec­re­tary Penny Mor­daunt even vis­ited a fam­ily plan­ning unit dur­ing a trip to the coun­try last month.

A DFID spokesman said: ‘As Tan­za­nia grows, it is es­sen­tial that young peo­ple and women are em­pow­ered to take con­trol of their lives, ed­u­ca­tion and health. The UK’s ap­proach to fam­ily plan­ning is aligned with Tan­za­nia’s na­tional pol­icy and we re­main in reg­u­lar con­tact with the gov­ern­ment.’

VIP VIS­I­TOR: In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment Sec­re­tary Penny Mor­daunt at a fam­ily plan­ning unit in Tan­za­nia last month

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