Today, the UK’s leading aid organisations are calling on all major political parties to honour the nation’s legal promise to spend 0.7% of gross national income on aid, and extend the UK’s leadership in promoting stability, fairness and prosperity around the world.
Over five million people support these organisations, and stand with them to fight global poverty.
A joint statement from the group* said:
Britain keeps its promises. We stand up for the underdog and stand firm when things get tough. At times when it would have been easier to turn in on ourselves, step away from the wider world and break our commitments to those in need, we have shown time and time again that Britain is bigger than that. Bigger than the easy options of self-interest or taking what we can get. Big enough to hold fast, and defend the amazing progress that’s been made.
Our commitment to spend 0.7% of our national income on aid has been testament to that, and featured in all the major political party manifestos running up to the last general election. That’s because looking out for those less fortunate than ourselves is part of who we are. We are a brave and big-hearted nation, and holding our ground when the going gets tough is Britain at its biggest.
Recent years have seen the number of people living in extreme poverty in the world halved and our aid has contributed significantly to this progress – so we know that it works – helping to build schools and hospitals, giving under-fives life-saving vaccinations and making sure mums and dads can provide their families with safe drinking water.
It is British aid and the deep generosity of the British public that is always on the forefront of responding to crises. It was British aid and our doctors and nurses leading the fight against Ebola. And right now, when aid parcels, tents and water tanks bearing the Union Jack are saving lives in East Africa, Syria and across the Middle East, we're proud that when the odds stacked against us seem insurmountable, Britain is big enough to take them on. Big enough to look out for those less fortunate than ourselves or meet halfway those working hard to stand on their own two feet.
The British public are also proud that our great nation hasn't turned its back on the world's poorest people, so at a time when the world most needs our leadership and strength, we call on the leaders of all parties to hold firm on the promise we have made, and stand up for their belief in a bigger Britain.
*The leading UK aid organisations who have signed this statement are World Vision UK, Save the Children, UNICEF UK, Age International, Oxfam GB, VSO, Christian Aid, Malaria Consortium, ActionAid, Tearfund, CAFOD, Malaria No More UK, Bond, Plan International UK, ONE, Restless Development, Islamic Relief, Comic Relief