Over the next month, members of Tearfund’s Government Relations team will be attending the Labour and Conservative party conferences. Here’s everything you need to know about why we’re there, what we’ll be doing and how you can get involved through prayer and action.
Party conferences happen every year and are a way for the main political parties to meet with their members and share their vision for the year ahead. They feature a mix of speeches, events and debates.
Why are we going to the party conferences?
Tearfund engages with MPs because we want to see lasting change. This happens by not only working with those living in poverty, but by changing the circumstances, laws and systems that are stopping people from being able to reach their full potential. Working with decision-makers who have the power to make laws is fundamental to alleviating poverty.
Party conferences are an opportunity for us to engage with party members, peers and MPs. By discussing Tearfund's work with them and building relationships, we can then continue with these when they are back in Parliament.
By working with UK politicians, we can encourage the government to use its role as a leader on issues such as climate change. The government can then use its influence at global summits, international bodies and with other countries to push for vital changes.
Highlighting how UK aid continues to saves lives around the world
Tearfund works with the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (previously the Department for International Development and the Foreign Office) to help shape policies and laws. The Government listens to us because of our experience and expertise, and the party conferences help us cultivate our relationships with MPs who work in this area.
The UK Government has match funded several Tearfund appeals, including one in the Central African Republic, where 10,000 women were reached with support to lift their families out of poverty.
Over the last few years the UK Government has taken some concerning decisions regarding UK aid. This includes:
- Merging the Department for International Development (DFID) with the Foreign Office despite an independent report showing that DFID was found to be the most effective, transparent and accountable department for every pound of UK taxpayer’s money.
- Breaking international commitments and slashing the UK’s foreign aid budget from 0.7 per cent to 0.5 per cent of national income in the midst of a pandemic – when lower-income countries needed our support most.
Tearfund’s presence at party conferences and the events that we’ll be co hosting there will highlight how UK aid continues to transform lives around the world – and why the UK Government should restore aid spending to its original levels as soon as possible.