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New poll shows two-thirds of Scottish want aid to go to world’s poorest countries

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

Two thirds (65%) of Scottish adults 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 that four out of five (83%) agree that MPs must ensure the UK keeps its promises to help the world’s poorest.

It comes just days after Parliament passed the International Development Act – a Private Member’s Bill brought forward by Borders MP Michael Moore – enshrining in law the long-standing target of investing 0.7% of national income in aid.

Rachel Dallas, a Youth Ambassador for ONE in Scotland, said: “I am truly proud that so many Scots support the idea that our aid should be focused on the people with the least. Scotland will have a transformative role in the next Parliament, and our MPs elected on May 7th must drive the changes in making sure aid gets to where the public want it to go. As a Youth Ambassador I know that it’s up to young people like me to make sure politicians listen to us – we want them to Just Say Yes.”

The poll also revealed that:

  • 80 per cent of Scots agree that focusing aid on girls and women improves the lives of everyone in developing countries.
  • Around four out of five (79%) agree that poverty is sexist as women and girls suffer disproportionately from the effects of poverty in least developed countries.
  • 87 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 Scottish people continue to support aid and its impact.

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