World Vision joins NGOs in support of 0.7% UK foreign aid commitments

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The UK’s leading NGOs 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 UKs leadership in promoting stability, fairness and prosperity around the world.

World Vision UK, together with other leading UK charities including Christian Aid, Cafod and Islamic Relief, yesterday issued a statement demanding the current and future UK governments to “stand up for the underdog and stand firm when things get tough.”

A joint statement from the group said: "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."

World Vision UK’s Government Relations Manager, Peter Keegan also echoed the aid agencies’ call, highlighting the successes of the British commitment to foreign aid.

He said: “Global partnerships supported by state funds have been very successful. One need only look at the rates of tropical diseases to see the effectiveness of joint global action. It is now possible to treat schistosomiasis – a disease that affects 249 million people worldwide – for less than 60p a day. Only together can we eliminate preventable diseases.

"At Easter, the Prime Minister spoke about the 'Values of compassion, community, citizenship (and) the sense of obligation we have to one another.' As a Christian organisation we urge Mrs. May and her Cabinet to remember this obligation to the world’s most vulnerable people by reaffirming their commitment to invest 0.7% of GNI (gross national income) in international development,” Keegan explained.