09 March 2015 - Christian Aid Chair Rowan Williams today praised Parliamentarians of all parties for coming together to pass a Bill which commits the UK to spend 0.7 per cent of its national income on aid.
Dr Williams said: “We have seen an impressive level of cross-party co-operation on this important Bill in recent months, with MPs and Peers from all major parties coming together to support it. Successive Governments deserve praise for raising UK support for the world’s poorest people to this level.”
Dr Williams, who is a member of the House of Lords, added: “Giving aid is an extremely practical way of demonstrating our love for our neighbour in need. I have seen the vital difference that UK aid is making to the lives of some of the poorest people in the world.
“This law will make UK aid more predictable and more effective than ever. We also know that aid alone is not enough. Now this law is in place, we should continue to focus on tackling the root causes of poverty, such as climate change and tax dodging by multinational companies in the poorest countries in the world.”
The International Development Bill was today passed in the House of Lords and is set to become an Act over the coming days. MPs gave strong cross-party support for the legislation during two votes late in 2014 in the House of Commons.
The Church of England’s lead Bishop on International Development, the Bishop of Derby, also welcomed the passage of the Bill and thanked everyone who has campaigned for it over many years.
“The passing of this Bill through Parliament today is the culmination of literally decades of campaigning by churchgoers across the country,” he said.
“They have been motivated by their faith to campaign on behalf of the poorest people in our world and they see this as fundamentally an issue of justice. I hope that everyone who has been involved in this campaign feels very proud today.
“UK aid does a huge amount of good for the poorest people right across the world. From helping them to recover from disaster to fighting corruption, preventing disease and providing education, UK aid changes millions of lives every year.”
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Notes to editors:
1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 50 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.
2. Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended: this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, sustainably. Our strategy document Partnership for Change explains how we set about this task.
3. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development. Further details at http://actalliance.org
4. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_newswire
5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk