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New poll shows majority of those in Yorkshire want overseas aid to be focused on women and girls

A new poll released by anti-poverty campaign group ONE reveals that the majority of people across Yorkshire believe UK aid should be focused on women and girls.

Three-quarters (77%) of people polled in Yorkshire and Humberside agree that focusing UK aid on helping women and girls will improve the lives of everyone in developing countries.

The research, carried out by ComRes, also revealed that a majority of adults polled (73%) in Yorkshire also agree that poverty is sexist, with women and girls suffering disproportionately from the effects of poverty in developing countries.

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.

Beth Milburn, a Youth Ambassador for ONE in Leeds, said: “I’m delighted that people in Yorkshire recognise the importance supporting girls and women overseas. It’s also great to see how so many people want our aid to go to the least developed countries – it’s this region’s sense of fairness shining through! Local politicians mustn’t underestimate our support for helping the world’s poorest, and if elected, must show they understand we want action.”

The poll also revealed that:

  • Around three-quarters (74%) agreed that MPs must ensure the UK keeps its promises to the world’s poorest.
  • 59 per cent agreed that the majority of UK aid should be targeted at the least developed countries. This is where it would have the biggest impact on ending extreme poverty.
  • 87 per cent agree that UK aid should be focused on tackling preventable diseases, such as malaria, Ebola and HIV/AIDS.

Diane Sheard, UK Director of ONE, said: “These results clearly show that people from Yorkshire continue to support aid, and in particular improving the lives of girls and women.

“Candidates standing for election in Yorkshire 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 directing aid at least developed countries. 

“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 Yorkshire was 185.
  3. ONE is calling for at least half of all aid to be invested in the least developed countries (LDCs) by 2020.