U.K. Department for International Development chief Andrew Mitchell meets with 10-year-old Qabila at a Red Cross hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Oct. 31, 2011. Advocacy group ONE appeals for U.K. taxpayers’ support to the country’s aid program. Photo: Kanishka Afshari / FCO / DfID

Global advocacy and campaign group ONE has come up with a report that, hopefully, will encourage U.K. taxpayers to support the country’s overseas aid program — and shut budget hawks up.

The report, “Small Change / Big Difference,” provides a list of possible achievements in the sectors of education, health, governance, business, and water and sanitation should the U.K. government’s aid spending remains on track. Adrian Lovett, ONE Europe director, said the report reveals just how much every penny counts.

The list includes getting 15.9 million children in school, 44.9 million people to participate in free and fair elections, and more than 17 million people gain access to safe drinking water. It also says 633,000 people would have access to lifesaving treament for HIV and the lives of 50,000 mothers would be saved.

The report notes that if the country meets its target of spending 0.7 percent of national income on aid, U.K. aid will account for only 1.6 pence of every pound.

“For many millions of poor people, what happens to our aid budget is a matter of life or death,” Lovett said, as quoted by The Guardian. He emphasized the need for the United Kingdom to keep its aid promise.

The next time budget hawks say “cut aid” and “reinvest” in the Royal Navy, perhaps they should be reminded that U.K. aid — which is only but 1.6 pence of every pound — is saving and transforming millions of lives around the world.

Read more:

Read more development aid news online, and subscribe to The Development Newswire to receive top international development headlines from the world’s leading donors, news sources and opinion leaders — emailed to you FREE every business day.

About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.