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’
AN AFRICAN nation whose president has caused outrage by claiming women who use birth control are ‘lazy’ is being given £45million 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?’
DFID currently sets aside £153million 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 £22million. 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.’
International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt at a family planning unit in Tanzania last month VIP VISITOR: