New poll shows British public backs majority of aid going to world’s poorest countries
A new poll released today by the campaign group ONE reveals that most British adults believe the lion’s share of aid should go to those who have the least. Two-thirds (66%) of British adults agree that the majority of UK aid should be targeted towards the least developed countries. These are the places where it will have the greatest impact on ending extreme poverty. Just weeks ahead of the general election, 77% – more than three in four Britons – agree that MPs should ensure that the UK keeps its promises to the world’s poorest.
The research, conducted by ComRes, is released as the curtain falls on this Parliament having passed the International Development Bill, enshrining in law the long standing target of investing 0.7% of national income in aid.
Diane Sheard, UK Director at ONE said: “These results show that British people continue to support aid and care about its impact, including tackling epidemics such as Ebola and providing long-term vaccines against life threatening diseases.
“It is significant that such a large majority – three-quarters of those polled – agree that MPs should ensure that the UK keeps its promises to the world’s poorest people. In the run up to the election, ONE is asking all parliamentary candidates across the country to cut the politicking and ‘Just Say Yes’ to supporting international development. We must not underestimate the vital role the next Parliament can play to ensure UK remains a world leader in effective and transparent aid that has already changed millions of lives.”
The poll also reveals that:
- Around four in five British adults – 79% – agree that focussing UK aid on helping women and girls will improve the lives of everyone in developing countries.
- More than three quarters – 77% – agree that poverty is sexist as women and girls suffer disproportionately from the effects of poverty in the least developed countries.
- 85% of British adults agree that UK aid should be focused on tackling preventable diseases such as malaria, Ebola and HIV/AIDS
Earlier this month ONE launched its ‘Just Say Yes’ campaign, asking would-be MPs to commit to helping the fight against extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. The campaign pledge stresses that UK’s lifesaving aid should be focused on those who have the least, that girls and women should be at the centre of development, and that all parts of the next government should work together to build a better and safer world.
Notes to Editors
- ComRes interviewed 2,004 British adults by telephone between the 20th and 22nd March 2015. Data were weighted to be representative of all British adults aged 18+. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.
- ONE is calling for at least half of all aid to be invested in the least developed countries (LDCs) by 2020.