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UK'S May promises to keep 0.7 percent foreign aid commitment


"We are delighted that the Prime Minister has recommitted to spending 0.7% of national income on aid and clearly stated her belief that aid saves and changes lives", they said.

And yesterday Microsoft founder Bill Gates used a speech in London to praise Britain's foreign aid Budget as "visible proof of the UK's goodwill and humanity".

May's comments came after Rowan Williams, the former archbishop of Canterbury, said Britain's aid budget should be seen as a "badge of honour" for the country.

Answering questions from reporters during a visit to a toothpaste factory in her Maidenhead constituency, the PM said: "Let's be clear, the 0.7% commitment remains and will remain".

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"What we need to do though is look at how that money is spent and make sure that we are able to spend that money in the most effective way".

'I'm very proud of the record we have, of the children around the world who are being educated as a result of what the British taxpayer is doing in terms of global aid.

The Prime Minister said the pledge "remains and will remain" and that she is proud of the work the United Kingdom is doing overseas, for example in helping to tackle the Ebola crisis in Africa or supporting Syrian refugees.

The UK is now one of only a handful of nations to spend 0.7% of its national income overseas - a decades' old target agreed at the United Nations - and is the third biggest aid donor in cash terms, second only to Germany and the US.

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"So I'm very proud of the record that we have. We've maintained that commitment, but we have to make sure that we're spending that money as effectively as possible".

"As we debate the future of our country, our relationship to the European Union and our new relationship with the world, we should wear our aid budget as a badge of honor that sets a standard for others to follow", Williams said in a statement.

He said: "Britain's political and social landscape is in flux, and we face great choices about the soul and future of our nation".

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