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Hideous choices

“It’s easy enough to sit at a desk and take a red pen to a budget, chop a few million here, a couple of thousand there, until the desired bottom line emerges. But what does this mean for real people in the real world? As I sit here in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, I am faced with a dilemma.”

Budget cuts

So writes Anne O’Mahony, Concern’s country director in Kenya, in today’s Irish Times. The dilemma Anne faces is a result of the recent cuts in Ireland’s aid budget. She writes: “now the budget has been cut again and a programme will have to go – but what do I cut?”

Each one of Concern’s programmes in Kenya – whether it deals with HIV, education or agriculture – provides a lifeline for people in a country where “there are no safety nets of any kind."

Appalling consequences

Cutting any one of these programmes will have appalling consequences for some of the poorest people in the world. This is the real impact of the aid cuts. As Anne writes, “it’s quite easy to delete figures on a spreadsheet. But it’s going to be terribly hard to look any of these people in the eye and say, ‘Sorry, you’re on your own now.’”

Read the full article here.