Yesterday I took part in a debate on International Development Funding. There were an impressive range of speeches supporting the aid budget both on humanitarian grounds, and also on the basis that it is in our own interests to see difficult challenges tackled quickly, rather than growing into something much more dangerous or damaging.

At a time when food banks are a normal part of British life in this country, it is sometimes easy to see cuts to the aid budget as a solution. But I don’t think it is – and being among the wealthiest countries on earth we should end food banks at home AND continue to use just 0.7% of our gross national income for various hugely positive purposes internationally:
– a child is saved every two minutes thanks to UK supported immunisation programmes;
– tens of millions have been provided with access to clean water and better sanitation;
– 15 million food rations and shelter for 100,000 people has been provided in Syria.