In response to UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom’s comments that aid should not be sent to 'bongo bongo land', Melanie Ward, Head of Advocacy at ActionAid, said:
“Anyone who thinks that aid doesn’t save millions of lives is living in la la land. People in the UK rightly feel proud that we have a long tradition of giving aid in this country.
The recent statement on aid is out of touch with the reality of poverty and the role of aid in our world today, as I am sure the hundreds of thousands of school children from Malawi who have been educated thanks to UK aid would be proud to confirm.
Aid works and is getting better, saving lives and helping people and countries to stand on their own two feet and take charge of their own development.
“But there is still a long way to go. Globally, one in six children are underweight and almost a billion people go to bed hungry each night.
That is why ActionAid has strongly welcomed the government’s commitment to living up to a long standing target of spending 0.7 per cent of national income on overseas aid, which is globally agreed as a fair contribution from the world’s richest countries to help end poverty.”