Today’s (Wednesday 25th March) Parliamentary event celebrates the passage of International Development (Official Development Assistance Target) Bill after it received its Royal Assent. The Act puts into legislation the target of spending at least 0.7% of national income on aid and requires that the Secretary of State makes arrangements for the independent evaluation of aid expenditure.
British aid saves lives and the 0.7% target would continue to ensure that every two seconds a child in a poor country gets vaccinated against deadly diseases and 10.2 million children the chance to go school. It was a commitment that was made in the 2010 manifestos of all the three major parties and after 40 years since the target was first agreed, the UK has enshrined the commitment into law.
Jim Fitzpatrick, Labour MP for Poplar and Limehouse, said “Today we kept a promise to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. The Labour party had a commitment to enshrine 0.7% of the UK’s GNI into legislation and we have honoured this today.
“The UK continues to lead the way on international development. British aid makes a tremendous difference to millions by lifting them out of poverty, preventing hunger and treatable illnesses as well as getting more children into education. We should all be proud of what we achieved today.”
The Turn Up Save Lives Coalition said: “Today marks a historic achievement. The UK has honoured a promise made over forty years ago and the new legislation will now allow the Department of International Development to plan for effective, long term investments, improving value for money for the taxpayer.
“Enshrining the commitment to spend 0.7% of national income on foreign aid into law will provide a long term commitment and guarantee to those who need it the most. It will deliver vital healthcare, clean water and access to essential financial services to developing nations. It is this generation of British politicians from across all parties in both Houses of Parliament that have helped achieve this historical moment and for that we would like to say thank you.”
For more information on the Turn Up Save Lives campaign, please visit:http://www.turnupsavelives.org.uk/