Over the course of two decades, CAFOD supporters have been among those who have written letters, met with their MPs, signed petitions and gone on demonstrations, all to urge the UK government to keep its promise to the world’s poorest people. Victory has not come easily, but today, Lords turned out in force to support a bill that guarantees the UK’s commitment to overseas aid.
The commitment, which was first made at the United Nations in 1970 and included in all three election manifestos in 2010, promises to give 0.7% of Britain’s gross national income to support people living in poverty. Until today, the government was under no legal obligation to uphold this target.
CAFOD was one of over forty organisations committed to #TurnUpSaveLives, the campaign that called on parliamentarians to vote in favour of the bill.
Today’s success means that whichever party wins the general election in 2015 and in the years to come, our promise as a nation, to help poorer countries lift themselves out of poverty, will be upheld.
CAFOD responds to this great news
On hearing the news, CAFOD’s director, Chris Bain, said, “Aid money given by Britain is a vital lifeline for millions of the poorest people overseas. This year alone, UK aid helped more than 5 million children go to school, provided more than 19.5 million people with clean water and helped turn the tide in the fight against Ebola.
“I’d like to thank all of our supporters who have campaigned tirelessly to see this day arrive, and I commend all the MPs and Lords who united across the political spectrum to vote in favour of this bill.
“It’s a historic day; a sign of unity and solidarity and I hope it will inspire many more governments to take the same bold step towards a fairer world for all.”
The UK government will match your donations to CAFOD this Lent £1 for £1