UK’s aid effort
THE SNP’s response to Alistair Darling’s “Better Together” launch speech came far closer to asserting that the UK government has broken its aid promises than I would hope its author intended (UK aid budget claims are wrong, Nationalists say, 26 June).
To suggest that aid is “missing” and that lives have been lost as a result is a completely false interpretation of the actual position.
The United Kingdom is the first country in history to set out clear plans, in black and white in the UK government’s Comprehensive Spending Review, to honour the UN commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income on aid by 2015.
And as this week’s Annual Report from my department shows, aid from the British people is achieving extraordinary results, including vaccinating over 12 million children against preventable diseases; reaching six million people with emergency food assistance; distributing 12.2 million bednets to protect people against malaria; and supporting 5.3 million children to go to primary school.
The UK is the highest aid giver of all countries in the G20 – in terms of percentage of our Gross National Income – and will be the first to hit 0.7 per cent two years earlier than required in 2013.
Opponents of the Better Together campaign might want to consider these facts before asserting that lives have been put at risk
Andrew Mitchell MP
Secretary of State for International Development
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