MORE ABOUT OVERSEAS AID
The UK should be proud of the impact its aid spending is having – helping people around the world transform their lives and lift themselves out of poverty. Whilst it is not the only solution, aid has an important role to play in tackling many of the global challenges we face.
UK aid has transformed communities. It is estimated that it saves a life every two minutes. It gives girls an education, it helps people make a living and leave poverty behind, and it helps communities prepare for, and deal with, disaster.
Currently UK Aid represents a very small proportion of our national income. 0.7% of our Gross Domestic Product is spent on Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) that is equivalent to just 7p out of every £10 this nation earns. We should not have to choose between tackling need in the UK and around the world – it is possible to do both. People in the UK care about poverty and it is still a generous nation, as we regularly see when the public gives to our emergency appeals.
Here are 5 facts about what UK Aid has achieved:
- UK Aid saves lives – providing vaccinations that have helped immunise more than 67 million children against preventable diseases over the last 5 years.
- UK Aid gives children a decent education – helping 11.3 million children to access an education and trained more than 190,000 teachers in 2015 – 2016.
- UK Aid is helping countries eradicate poverty – supporting 69.5 million people, including 36.4 million women gain access to financial services to help them work their way out of poverty.
- UK Aid is helping countries to tackle the impacts of climate change and access clean energy – helping people to adapt to the effects of climate change, for example through providing early warning systems for when disasters strike. Through the international climate fund, DFID has helped over 12 million people to access clean energy.
- UK Aid is there when disasters strike – DFID has established a £500 million crisis reserve to enable rapid and effective response to emergencies. For example in Nepal, DFID helped restore healthcare services that will benefit 5.6million people living in earthquake affected districts.
For UK Aid to continue to deliver high quality services it is important that the Department for International Development (DFID) remains an independent government department targeted on reducing poverty – at the moment the UK is a world leader in aid and we want to keep it that way. An independent and transparent DFID is just one of the ways the UK can continue to be an important force for positive change in the world.
MORE ABOUT Climate
Globally we are experiencing a climate emergency causing greater intensity and likelihood of droughts, floods, and wildfires, along with less reliable rain pushing people back into poverty. The world's poorest people, who have done least to contribute to the problem, need urgent action from us. Globally, we need to keep the temperature rise to 1.5 degrees. Earlier this year, the UK Government committed in law to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions to ‘net zero’ by 2050. We know that net zero can and should be achieved earlier, by 2045 at the very latest, although we are yet to see the ambitious policies and tangible actions required to meet this commitment.
Please ask candidates what their party will do. Broadly, we think the UK are doing well on phasing out coal-fired power stations, but we need to see more progress across all key areas, in order to tackle the climate emergency. Important steps include:
- Decarbonising transport, bringing forward the ban on petrol and diesel cars to 2030, greater investment in clean and efficient public transport, encouraging more walking and cycling, and fewer flights.
- Stop funding fossil fuel expansion and increase renewable electricity supply and battery storage.
- Decarbonising heating, with more warm homes and insulation, more renewable electricity, and more investment in the transition away from gas.
- Reducing emissions from agriculture, food and food waste
We can afford it. Since 1990 the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions have fallen by 40% while the economy has grown by 75%. If we transition to a zero carbon future in a fair and planned way, it can also create new jobs and boost economic development. Conversely, the UK currently puts more money into expanding polluting fossil fuels in developing countries than into clean energy overseas.
With the UK’s future relationship to the EU still unclear, it is difficult to predict what changes are ahead. Adopting an ambitious approaches to tackling climate change is an important way to show we’re not turning our backs on the world.