In response to today's Queen's speech (Wednesday 9th May, 2012), Tim Aldred, Progressio's Head of Policy said:
"It is very good that at a difficult economic moment, the government continues to reinforce its commitment to development spending. 925 million people still live in extreme poverty around the world, and this is clearly unacceptable. Reaching the 0.7% pledge in 2013 will be a huge achievement, something that will save many lives, build resilient communities and long-term livelihoods amongst the poorest people in the world."
He also said, "At the same time, we encourage the government to introduce legislation to help protect this vital commitment into the future. It would be a clear statement of principle about the value that the UK places upon the rights of the poorest people. Legislation would also deliver on the promises made by all political parties at the last general election."
He concluded, "Through its international development programme, the UK can continue to change the lives of the poorest for the better."
Note to editors:
1. The Queen set out the issue as follows in her speech: "My Government has set out firm plans to spend nought point seven per cent of gross national income as official development assistance from 2013. This will be the first time the United Kingdom has met this agreed international commitment."
2. For further information, please contact Tim Aldred on 020 7326 2003 / 077 4054 3047
3. Progressio is a UK-based charity working internationally to help people gain power over their lives and overcome barriers that keep them poor. For further information see www.progressio.org.uk
4. Photo: Chicken farmer, Zimbabwe, 2012; credit - Macpherson Photography/Progressio