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All departments share responsibility for ending poverty, says Christian Aid

23rd November 2015 - Responding to the UK’s aid review published today, Christian Aid commended the Government for recognising it must go ‘beyond aid’ and bring all departments on board to eradicate poverty and strengthen global governance.

“Eradicating poverty within a generation is no mean ambition, so it’s vital that all departments pull together to meet this shared responsibility,” said Laura Taylor, Christian Aid’s Head of Advocacy.

“Aligning all the Government’s objectives – from business to justice to climate change – around this goal is the right thing to do. Well-targeted aid is an important tool but it’s when we go ‘beyond aid’ that real changes in governance, stability and sustainability can occur.”

She added: “Long-term development is the only path to stability for some of the most fragile and conflict-blighted places in the world, so the UK’s commitment to directing more aid to those regions is an important step towards a safer and more peaceful world. The best way to do this is by investing in the local organisations in those countries who are ready when emergency hits and remain long after.

"Welcoming the Government’s promise to ensure all aid-spending departments achieve top ranking ‘Good’ or ‘Very Good’ in the International Aid Transparency Index within the next five years, Ms Taylor said: “Every department that spends aid must be held to the highest standards to earn the public’s trust that this money will mean a better future for the world’s poorest people.

“DFID ranks among the most transparent aid departments in the world, and other departments will have to work hard to attain the same level. We’ll be watching closely to make sure the UK maintains its commitment to internationally-agreed aid rules and that the aid budget stays focused on its legal purpose of poverty eradication.”

She added that Christian Aid is also keen to see the Government ensure that the UK’s tax havens also practice transparency, by creating public registers of the real owners of the more than 500,000 companies registered on their shores. Some of those companies currently facilitate tax evasion from developing countries, corruption and money laundering around the world and this move would help ensure more money is available to fight poverty.

“The Overseas Territories’ annual meeting will be held in London next week and is a chance for the UK to show how seriously it takes transparency,” said Ms. Taylor.

Notes to editors:

1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 40 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


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