India Development Progress Risked by Premature UK Aid Withdrawal
World Vision calls for aid to be phased out over longer period
In response to today's annoucement by Justine Greening, International Development Secretary that UK financial aid to India will be stopped by 2015, David Thomson, Head of Policy at World Vision UK, said: “We agree that development aid to India needs to be phased out over the long term.
“But at the moment nearly half of India’s children under five are stunted by lack of nutritious food. That is more than 60 million children....equivalent to the entire population of the UK.
“Unlike acute malnutrition during famine, which can be treated, children never recover from stunting. Their brains and bodies never fully develop making them much less likely to earn a decent income as adults.”
The Indian economy may be growing, but it is no easy task for any government to lift so many out of poverty in the short term.
Because of the scale of the problem, World Vision invests over £30 million in tackling extreme poverty in India. The World Vision approach is to combine our own anti-poverty initiatives with support for communities in demanding their fair share from the government.
For instance, World Vision helped one community to lobby for 120 college scholarships for girls, as well as running water and an electricity supply. Another community where we worked, acquired two roads, street lighting and rubbish collection.