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New poll shows majority of Londoners want overseas aid to go to world’s poorest countries

A new poll released by anti-poverty campaign group ONE reveals that the majority of people in the Capital believe the lion’s share of aid should go to those who have the least.

Around three-quarters (74%) of Londoners polled agreed that the majority of UK aid should be targeted at least developed countries. This is where it would have the biggest impact on ending extreme poverty.

The research, conducted by ComRes, also revealed overwhelming agreement (87%) in London that MPs must ensure that the UK keeps its promises to the world’s poorest.

The findings come just days after Parliament passed the International Development Act, which enshrined in law the long-standing target of investing 0.7% of national income in aid.

Olawunmi Gbadebo-saba, a Youth Ambassador for ONE in London, said: “This shows just how much support there is in London for giving UK aid to least developed countries. Politicians have a duty to reflect the will of the people, and directing aid to those who have the least is what the people want. As a Youth Ambassador it makes me proud to be part of a movement that shows how much young people care about helping the world’s poorest. MPs elected on May 7th must show they understand this!”

Khalid Ahmed, a Youth Ambassador for ONE from Harrow, said: “UK aid is about helping people lead better lives, and it’s right that it’s directed to those who need it the most, so it’s no surprise so many Londoners support this. People understand the vital role the UK plays in helping the world’s poorest – all the things we take for granted are the things so many people need. As a Youth Ambassador for ONE, it’s important to me to that London MPs elected on May 7th to show they understand this and do their bit for those who have the least.”

The poll also revealed that:

  • 87 per cent of adults polled in London agreed that focusing aid on girls and women helps everyone in developing countries.
  • Around four-fifths (78%) agree that poverty is sexist as women and girls suffer disproportionately from the effects of poverty in least developed countries.
  • 90 per cent agree that UK aid should be invested in preventing deadly diseases, such as malaria, Ebola and HIV/AIDS.

Diane Sheard, UK Director of ONE, said: “These results clearly show that Londoners continue to support aid and care about its impact.

“Candidates standing for election in London should take note that such a large majority of voters want them to keep the UK’s promises to the world’s poorest.  They also believe that UK aid should prioritise girls and women as they are disproportionately affected by extreme poverty. 

“That’s why ONE is asking all parliamentary candidates across the country to cut the politicking and ‘Just Say Yes’ to supporting international development. The role of the next Parliament is vital to maintaining the UK’s leadership in effective and transparent aid.”

Last 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.


For more information please contact Chris Mitchell on 020 7434 6935 or [email protected]

Notes to Editors

  1. ComRes conducted a national poll and interviewed 2,004 British adults across the UK 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.
  2. The number of people interviewed in the London was 256.
  3. ONE is calling for at least half of all aid to be invested in the least developed countries (LDCs) by 2020.