Evennett welcomes UK aid changes

David Evennett MP has welcomed the Government’s proposed changes to the UK’s aid programme.

In a House of Commons statement yesterday, International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell outlined the results that he expects UK aid to deliver by 2015. These are to help:

– secure schooling for 11 million children
– vaccinate more children against preventable diseases
– provide access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation
– save the lives of 50,000 women in pregnancy and childbirth
– stop 250,000 newborn babies dying needlessly
– support 13 countries to hold freer and fairer elections
– assist 10 million more women get access to modern family planning

Responding to the statement, Mr Evennett asked the Secretary of State: “I welcome my right hon. Friend’s statement on the refocusing of our aid to target it and get value for money from it. Does he agree that education, particularly for girls, remains a top priority? What is his Department doing, and what more can it do, to encourage education throughout the developing world?”

Mr Mitchell replied: “My hon. Friend is absolutely right. For reasons he will readily appreciate, one of the best development investments we can make in terms of outcomes is to get girls into school, which is why that is such a key target for us going forward. Over the next four years, Britain will educate 11 million children overseas, far more than in the whole of Britain, and, as I have said, at 2.5% of the cost. Therefore, if any of my hon. Friend’s constituents say that this programme should be repatriated, he should point out that 2.5% of the cost would not even get one laptop per class.”

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