What UK aid will achieve for the world’s poorest people

The ONE Campaign has just released a report entitled Small Change/Big Difference, which for the first time shows what will be achieved by the UK keeping its promise to the world’s poorest, and delivering 0.7% of Gross National Income on international aid by 2013.  It’s good news!  This is the summary:

The UK has long been a world leader in international development. In recent years the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) has lifted an estimated 3 million people permanently out of poverty annually, through health, education, food, and sanitation programmes. However, in these difficult economic times, which have resulted in budget cuts for other government departments, there has been a heated debate about whether the UK is right to keep its overseas aid commitments.

It is therefore essential that we fully understand what UK aid will achieve. For the first time this independent report audits all of the UK’s existing bilateral and multilateral aid commitments and presents an analysis of what results will be delivered over the next four years.

How much does the UK give in aid?

The UK invested approximately £8.6 billion in overseas aid in 2011, 0.56% of Britain’s income. This is set to rise to an estimated £11.7 billion in 2013 as the UK fulfils its promise to invest 0.7% of national income in aid. This commitment was first made by wealthy nations at the United Nations in 1970. It was reinvigorated in 2005 when G8 and European Union countries agreed aid increases to help global efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals – a set of targets agreed in 2000 to improve the lives of the world’s poorest people. The British Government confirmed in its 2010 Comprehensive Spending Review that it would hit the 0.7% target in 2013.

The British Government confirmed in its 2010 Comprehensive Spending Review that it would hit the 0.7% target in 2013.

Breakdown of UK Government Spending, 2013 (per £)

At 0.7% of national income, UK aid will account for just 1.6 pence in every pound of government spending.

The analysis shows that if UK aid spending commitments remain on track, the result will be millions of lives saved and transformed between now and 2015. We estimate that UK aid plans as they stand in March 2012 will:

  • Put 15.9 million children in school
  • Provide over 80 million children with vaccines against life-threatening diseases, saving an estimated 1.4 million lives
  • Help 44.9 million people participate in freer and fairer elections
  • Support over 40 million people with prevention or treatment for malaria, including distributing 26.6 million bed nets
  • Provide access to safe drinking water to over 17 million people
  • Help 77.6 million people access formal financial services, such as bank accounts or credit, which are the basics needed to start a business
  • Ensure 5.8 million births take place in a safe environment, saving the lives of over 50,000mothers
  • Provide 633,000 people with life-saving treatment for HIV
  • Ensure better nutrition for 9.6 million people

Please visit the ONE Campain website to find out more facts about UK aid and encourage the Chancellor to keep to the Government’s pledge to give 0.7% of UK income to international development by 2013.

Categories: Government, Overseas aid, Poverty

Tags: , , , ,

2 replies

  1. It’s actually very encouraging to see how much difference a tiny percentage of UK national income could make by 2015. Will the Chancellor keep to the government pledge to meet the target of 0.7% of UK income given for international development by 2013? The Budget announcement is almost upon us, so we’ll soon know.

    • The Government should be very proud of its record on international aid. They’ve come in for a lot of stick recently for increasing their commitment whilst cutting other budgets, but the amount of good it does for the cost is considerable even if not all the money gets used effectively. We need to encourage the Chancellor to stick to his word. It’s worth writing or emailing to let him know we want to make sure this happens.

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