We recognise that while aid is not sufficient by itself, it is most certainly necessary. And what's more, aid works! As the New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof says aid is "a kind of lubricant, a few drops of oil in the crankcase of the developing world, so that gears move freely again on their own".
International aid is a vital component to reducing poverty and suffering. Aid saves the lives of millions of men, women and children in the aftermath of disasters and it transforms the lives of millions more by kick-starting economic growth, helping parents feed their families and providing vital healthcare.
Every year, humanitarian aid helps millions of people survive the most extreme disasters and conflicts, and development aid not only protects people from the worst effects of poverty, it also increases the options available to them and encourages enterprise. Aid pays for the roads and the ports. Aid pays to educate the entrepreneurs and business people of the future. A farmer who receives fertiliser and seeds paid for by aid can grow enough food for her family, and have a surplus to sell in the market to invest in educating her children and investing in new farm equipment to grow even
more. All this contributes to economic growth. Growth means more taxes are raised, so poor country governments are able to pay their own way with less reliance on aid. Here is an example of what aid achieves:
- 485 children are saved every day by mosquito nets and malaria medicines paid for by aid. That is the equivalent of 16 primary school classes.
- Malaria costs the African economy £33 million-a-day. Eliminating malaria would boost economic growth by 1.2 per cent per year.
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