SIR – The Department of International Development is spending some £9 billion a year, some of which goes on the provision of trips from Britain to South Africa for young, female soccer coaches.
No doubt friendships have been made, lives improved and a good time had by all – but this is hardly the reduction in destitution that we are all willing to pay for.
The current hard times call for hard choices and hard-nosed study of the effectiveness of government spending in achieving declared goals. If the Government really wished to reduce poverty around the world, it would be campaigning to abolish the Common Agricultural Policy and the heinous import duties that keep the products of the poor out of the EU.
This could all be done for a lot less than £9 billion and would have a much greater effect on reducing poverty than the temporary export of soccer coaches has done.