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We are deeply concerned by Penny Mordaunt’s recent comments that suggest private sector investments should replace, rather than supplement, public aid for international development. While there is certainly a place for private investment this should never be at the cost of the commitments made to 0.7% of GNI, nor should it compromise the quality of UK Aid. The UK has been a world leader in its commitment to overseas development assistance. By meeting a global promise agreed in the United Nations every year since 2013, the UK has supported some of the world’s most vulnerable people. The UK is well respected around the world for this contribution, it is critical that we continue this leadership and generosity in the coming years.
Understandably, many people have concerns about foreign aid when Britain faces so many domestic challenges. However, not only does it provide a platform for global cooperation, and in turn helps play a role in maintaining a safe and stable world, most importantly millions of individual lives have been saved or transformed through UK Aid. As a charity inspired by Christian principles, we believe that the UK has a moral responsibility to continue to provide 0.7% of GNI in aid. We are extremely concerned that the primary focus of this aid should be poverty alleviation that prioritises the protection of the environment, gender equality, health, education, life-saving humanitarian aid in times of crisis and most importantly long-term sustainable solutions that build local capacity in some of the world’s poorest communities. While the world has seen unprecedented progress in tackling extreme poverty, there is still a long way to go in order to meet the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Our call is that the UK government do not step back from the global 0.7% aid target and continue to lead with compassion for the poorest and most marginalised in our world.