Over the next month, Tearfund's Government Relations team will be at the Liberal Democrat, 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 annually and are where major political parties meet their members and discuss their plans for the upcoming year, including speeches, events, and debates.
Why are we going to the party conferences?Tearfund works with MPs because we want to create lasting change. This involves not only assisting those in poverty but also changing the laws and systems that hold people back from reaching their full potential. Engaging with decision-makers who have the power to change laws is crucial to our mission of reducing poverty.
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.
Over the last few years the UK Government has taken some concerning decisions regarding UK aid. This includes the UK not meeting its climate finance commitments. In 2009, wealthy nations promised to deliver $100 billion a year from 2020 for developing countries to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
Sadly, the latest Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) figures show that this promise has still not been met. When the UK made pledges on climate finance, it stated that funds would be new and additional to the 0.7% aid budget commitment, however the UK is not currently adhering to this. New and additional commitments must be kept, because climate change requires significant resources that should not come at a cost to other Official Development Assistance (ODA) priorities.
Tearfund’s presence at party conferences and the events that we’ll be co-hosting will highlight how UK aid continues to transform lives around the world – and why the UK Government should adhere to its commitments to nations affected by climate change, and not at the expense of the aid budget.