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Thursday, 11 September 2014

Lib Dems: We must enshrine UN aid target in UK law

The Liberal Democrats are pushing for the United Nations overseas aid spending target to be enshrined in law. Michael Moore today publishes his Private Member's Bill which makes it a legal requirement to spend 0.7% of gross national income on aid.

Britain was the first country in the G7 to meet the target last year and if the bill passes future governments will be bound by law to meet the commitment. The bill is backed by the heads of the UK's top international development charities.

Michael Moore said: "Enshrining the 0.7% target in law will move on the aid debate from how much we spend to how we spend it. This bill will make sure as a country we provide people in grave need with lifesaving support - including food, water, shelter and medical assistance. It will also set an example to other wealthy countries to persuade them to join us in the commitment.

"I am extremely proud the Liberal Democrats in Government have delivered on the 0.7% target and continue to demonstrate our commitment to the world's poorest. I want to thank all the NGOs who have supported my efforts to move this bill forward."

Liberal Democrat DFID Minister Lynne Featherstone said: "Michael Moore's bill will lock down our commitment once and for all and I sincerely hope MPs from all parties will turn out in great number to support it on Friday."

CEO of Save the Children Justin Forsyth said: "Being an outward-looking, generous country is what makes Britain great and we should be very proud of having reached the 0.7% aid target. Enshrining the target in law, by backing Michael Moore's bill, is the historic final stage of this cross-party commitment. It ensures that British aid continues to change and save the lives of millions of children around the world."