Friday November 14, 2014

Charities express concern over ‘misguided’ comments on UK aid

In a joint letter to the Daily Telegraph published on November 14, the charities have spoken up in favour of a Private Member’s Bill going through Parliament that would make it binding in law for the Government to keep its previous promises on foreign aid. The Bill is due to receive its third reading on December 5 but the Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, has voiced his opposition.

Here is the text of the joint letter in full, signed on behalf of Islamic Relief by our UK Director, Jehangir Malik:

“Philip Hammond is misguided in his comments about the aid law passing through Parliament.

This Bill enjoys cross-party support. Enshrining Britain’s aid promise in law would deliver the 2010 manifesto pledge of all three main political parties as well as the Coalition agreement.

We should be proud that Britain has reached this international target. This law puts life-saving aid beyond politics, guaranteeing that 0.7 per cent of gross national income is spent on aid each year, linked to economic performance, until it is no longer needed. The Bill would also move the debate from “How much aid?” to “How can we use aid most effectively?”

This Bill sends a signal to developing countries that we will keep our aid promise to them. It reminds other rich countries that they too must meet their aid targets.

British aid saves lives and changes lives every day. Philip Hammond is witnessing that first-hand in Sierra Leone where Britain leads the fight against Ebola. However, humanitarian aid alone is not enough. Enshrining the target in law will enable future British governments to make smart long-term investments that address the root causes of poverty.”

Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook in the run up to the bill to find out how you can help support the bill!

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