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Progress on 0.7%

Posted by Abby Mason Communications Planning and Data Manager

10th Oct 2014

In March 2013 the UK became the first G7country to meet the 40 year old United Nations commitment to invest 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI) in international development aid. After years of relentless campaigning from Oxfam and others - from writing to MPs and signing petitions, to dressing up as the chancellor - George Osborne confirmed that the UK would finally meet this decade old promise. We reported at the time, that the UK should be proud that it is sticking to its aid promise to help the world's poorest people. You helped put pressure on MPs and the Government to keep this promise. Now there is an opportunity to get the 0.7% target enshrined in law, which will help protect it from being revoked in future.

GOOD NEWS - This September, 164 MPs from across parties turned up to vote in support of MP Michael Moore's Private Member's Bill to make this UK promise a legal requirement, and the Bill was successfully voted through its Second Reading. 

It still has a way to go but this level of support is a great success.  It shows that a large number of MPs feel committed to aid and supporting the world's poorest people. It is the right thing to do, and by enshrining it in law we can help ensure that our international development priorities are met now and in the future. 

Aid makes a huge difference by helping to deliver, and scale-up local, efforts to save lives, educate children, build sustainable livelihoods, stimulate growth, build democratic and fair societies and promote peace and security.  By enshrining this commitment in law and giving aid predictably over the years we can improve the value of aid by giving developing countries greater ability to plan ahead.

So what next?

The Bill now enters a Committee Review stage and joins a queue with other Private Member's Bills. The Committee members have to be selected, and then once through the Committee stage the Bill goes through to the report stage for further scrutiny. If it passes the report stage, there will be a third reading, and if MPs approve the Bill it passes to the House of Lords before any amendments are finally considered.

The UK development sector joined forces through the Turn Up Save Lives coalition which will continue to keep the pressure on MPs to ensure that this law goes through. The great news is that enshrining the 0.7% commitment in law was in the Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour manifestos for the 2010 General Election, and through Turn Up Save Lives we plan to ensure that they honour their commitments to the world's poorest.

Aid Changes LivesYou can find the list of supportive MPs on the Turn Up Save Lives website.

If your MP is one of them then do write and thank them, and ask them to continuing support it as it passes through Parliament.  You can find your MP's contact details on the Parliament website

A date for the committee stage has yet to be announced but Oxfam and other international development charities will be tracking progress.  We want politicians to keep this promise to the world's poorest, and we will keep you up to date with what's happening and what you can do to help apply more pressure.

Thank you again for your continued, and everlasting, support for international aid. This has once again demonstrated that public pressure from you, when applied at the right time, makes all the difference.

See the difference Aid makes

Blog post written by Abby Mason

Communications Planning and Data Manager

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Abby Mason