International Development and 0.7% legislation

 

Thank you for contacting me about the aid budget. I believe we need to do what we can to help the world's poorest people.

I am therefore very proud that as a Government we have, for the first time ever, spent 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income on international development. Britain is leading the world in International Development as we are the first G8 country to reach the 0.7 per cent target.

Achieving this is not only the right thing to do; it is a smart investment for Britain too. International Development is in our interests not just because it creates new markets, but because it can deliver a more balanced, resilient global economy. Our aid is making a real difference across the world. For example, by next year we will have:

. Delivered better nutrition to 11 million children and pregnant women

. Immunised 55 million children

. Put over 11 million children into school.

But it is not just about how much we spend; how we spend taxpayer money is just as important. The Department for International Development is leading a transparency drive in the aid world. It was the first development organisation to publish data according to the International Aid Transparency Initiative's standard, and was recently ranked as the most transparent aid organisation in the world.

We have made a very clear pledge to deliver 0.7 per cent of the UK's Gross National Income as Official Development Assistance from 2013 and to enshrine this in law. The Government remains committed to enshrining this pledge in law when parliamentary time allows. In the meantime, Ministers are already acting as though it is in law, most importantly by meeting the 0.7 per cent target.

Our aid commitment and the work done by Ministers in making sure this money is well spent will continue to improve lives across the world, and I hope you will continue to support us as we do. Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.