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Money for aid and development

Good quality aid saves lives and helps poor people work their own way out of poverty.

We want people in power to spend aid money effectively, help the poorest people, and reduce developing countries' debts.

Video: Good aid

Video: Good aid

Since 2008, the number of mothers dying in childbirth has fallen by 50% in Mozambique - thanks to international aid.

50 times more people than in 2000 are now receiving life-saving treatment for HIV and AIDS in Zambia, thanks to international aid.

The issue

Two big issues make it harder for poor countries to beat poverty: the lack of aid they get, and the high amount of debt they repay.

Rich countries have pledged to give 0.7% of their annual national incomes in foreign aid. But so far, only five nations have reached that target (they are Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Luxembourg and the Netherlands).

And rich countries are forcing poor countries to repay debts far bigger than their original loans, instead of spending precious cash on essentials like schools and hospitals.

Bangladesh, for example, has to make crippling debt repayments, when it desperately needs to use money for better health care and education - especially for the 50 million Bangladeshis who survive on less than $1 (US dollar) a day.

What we're doing

Oxfam is encouraging governments and organisations such as the UN to keep their promises on aid, and spend it more effectively, by targeting the people who most need help.

And that campaigning has already had a huge impact:

  • Zambia's debt was cancelled in 2005, enabling the UK Government to introduce free health care for people in rural areas - scrapping fees that once stopped millions getting the care they needed. And education got a boost too - some of the money that was freed up paid for 4,500 new teachers.

  • Millions of children in Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and Malawi are now going to school, thanks to a combination of debt relief and aid.

  • Roads built in Ethiopia with money from countries like the UK are now making it easier for children to get to school, people to reach hospitals, and farmers to transport and sell their crops.

We're also campaigning to make sure rich countries keep their promises to give 0.7% of their annual national incomes.

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More about money and aid for developmentMore about money for aid and development on our Policy & Practice website.

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