A Jerrycan and Overseas Aid

Overseas aid is a subject that it very emotive with many people thinking it should be more focussed on dual use equipment and capabilities.

That is a wider discussion and one which I hope to get to as part of the SDSR 2015 activity.

A post on Gizmag about the Lifesaver Jerrycan got me thinking about numbers and effects.

If you remember, I wrote a post on jerrycans a while ago, click here to veiw. They have evolved with modern moulding techniques able to produce durable, lightweight and low cost containers for all manner of fluids.

Another post, on military water supply, examined a range of water purification equipment including products from a British company called Lifesaver.

One of the products I wrote about was a combination of jerrycan and water filter.

The Gizmag post covers this Lifesaver Jerrycan.

[browser-shot width=”500″ url=”http://www.gizmag.com/jerrycan-purifies-5-gallons-of-water/26976/”]

All good stuff.

At £170 it is very low cost but imagine the impact of widespread, and I mean widespread, adoption in a developing nation.

The UK and the Department for International Development spends roughly £4 billion on bilateral development aid per year.

Economies of scale might reduce unit cost to £120.

Take 50% of DFiD’s budget and do the maths for how many that would buy.

A lot

My question is this, would a broad stroke like this (and one which would support a British company) do more to reduce conflict in a specific area than a myriad of piecemeal projects?

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John Hartley
John Hartley
April 10, 2013 2:11 pm

I suspect you are trying to lure me in on jerrycans so I then fall for something about containers.
Any road up.
The death of Mrs T, reminded me that her gov spent 0.35% GDP on aid, not the 0.7% the coalition is obsessed about. She also spent 4% GDP on defence, not the 2% now.

April 11, 2013 3:12 am

I think this would be a great use of DFID funds. Lets put a union jack on the side of them and start dropping them all of Africa.

April 11, 2013 3:16 am

@ JH – Its crazy to think that even if we scaled back to 0.35% we would still be the second largest per capita donor in the G8 and that’s assuming France does not scale back its commitments. Imagine what we could do at home with that extra £4 billion per year. I.e HS2 to Manchester and Leeds by 2022 and Edinburgh and Glasgow by 2025 or a decent technical education system for 16 and 17 year olds.

April 11, 2013 12:34 pm

Presumably some of the money could be spent on teaching people how to spell Leeds. It is not that difficult even for 16-17 year olds without technical education.