Our Call to Action to 2019 General Election candidates

Use your voice for the most vulnerable children

World Vision works across 100 countries to bring real hope and transformation to the lives of the world’s most vulnerable children. We have been working to reduce poverty and tackle social justice for 70 years. We walk with children and their communities to bring about real change and transformation in children’s futures.

The most vulnerable children in the world don’t have a vote… but you do.

Please ask your candidate these questions on their behalf:

  • I’m proud of the impact UK aid has played in the lives of the world’s most vulnerable children – what will you do to build on this impressive record? Will you commit to maintain the 0.7% commitment?

  • I want to see DFID stay as a standalone department because I know this is the best way to make sure UK aid is focussed on the world’s poorest communities. Will you commit to keeping an independent DFID?

  • I’m concerned that more one billion children across the world experience violence – what will you/your party do to make sure UK aid plays a part in ending violence against children for every child around the globe?

We believe that achieving change is political. But we are not party political. Our Christian faith compels us to act, and to work with people of all faiths and none to make sure no child is without a future.

At World Vision UK, our experience tells us that children pay the greatest price when conflicts erupt and disasters strike. The world is becoming a more dangerous place – especially for children.

All governments have pledged to ‘leave no-one behind’. This means ensuring every child has access to education and healthcare, enough food, clean water and a safe place to live and thrive. Yet more than 500 million children live in countries affected by conflict, natural disasters and epidemics; these children are often at the greatest risk of being left behind. We owe it to them to uphold these promises and protect our commitment to overseas aid. Children all over the world are counting on us.

Britain should be proud of this life-saving work. It works. It lifts children and their families out of poverty. It keeps children safe. Yet the UK’s commitment to overseas aid is under threat. As the country heads to the polls on 12th December, join us in asking your election candidates to honour the UK’s promises to the world’s most vulnerable children through prioritising three key areas:

1. Keep the UK’s promises to the most vulnerable children – commit to continue spending 0.7% on overseas aid: The UK should be proud of leading the world in its commitment to spend 0.7% of Gross National Income on aid – a promise first made over 40 years ago and delivered in this decade. It is even enshrined in law. In reality, this is less than two pence in every pound and it goes up or down depending on how our economy is doing – and this investment makes a huge difference. UK aid has saved countless lives and ensured millions of children have access to education in some of the toughest places in the world. Significant progress has been made in reducing extreme poverty, but there is still a long way to go. In this General Election, it is critical to call on all candidates to commit to prioritising the world’s most vulnerable children and support the ongoing lifesaving work of UK aid.

2. Investing aid effectively and transparently– maintain an independent DFID: The UK’s Department for International Development is a global leader in aid and development, delivering quality, accountable programmes. However, despite its excellent reputation, some are calling for the department to lose its independence and be merged into other departments. We believe this would undermine efforts to eradicate poverty around the world, risk aid being less effective and reduce transparency in how it is spent. You have a right to know how your money is being spent. Equally, we cannot risk international aid losing its focus on the most vulnerable communities, with attention further diverted to address UK national interests. The transformational and lifesaving work of DFID must not be diluted.

3. Ending violence against children: Violence affects more than a billion children every year – that’s one in two children worldwide – at an estimated global cost of £5.2 trillion annually. About a quarter of the world’s children live in conflict- and crisisaffected countries, making them especially vulnerable to abuses such as child marriage, hazardous labour and sexual exploitation. The UK must continue to play its part in protecting girls and boys around the world; join us in calling all candidates to ensure that this is a priority for overseas aid.