Aid: Brown pledges to hit 0.7% target
We are delighted at the prospect that the 0.7 per cent aid target will become law, announced by Gordon Brown at the Labour Party conference
The Prime Minister told delegates in his conference address: "Let me say what was once an aspiration – 0.7% of national income spent on international development aid, has become with Labour a promise, and will in future become a law.
"We will pass legislation that the British government is obliged to raise spending on aid to the poorest countries to 0.7% of our national income. Others may break their promises to the poorest, with Labour Britain never will."
In 1970 the UN set an aid target of 0.7 per cent of national income for all industrialised nations, calculating that if this target were met it would enable developing countries to achieve self-sustained growth by 2000.
Currently only six countries Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden are meeting or exceeding the target. The UK says it intends to meet the target by 2013 – and it has been endorsed by all major political parties.
George Gelber, CAFOD's senior policy advisor, says: "We look forward to seeing this in the Queens speech. We know that politicians of all parties will be tempted to cut aid at a time when people in developing countries are feeling the hardest edges of this crisis and we also know from experience that, once aid is cut, it takes years and years to recover lost ground. So, good on you, Gordon."