Department for International Development

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:41 pm on 1st July 2019.

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Photo of Laurence Robertson Laurence Robertson Conservative, Tewkesbury 4:41 pm, 1st July 2019

The hon. Gentleman is right to talk about the cross-party support for this issue in the House. The 0.7% target goes back a very long time, and I am pleased that it was a Conservative-led Government who actually reached it, but it would be churlish not to recognise the work that Tony Blair did, for example, in highlighting the issue, and I am pleased to do so. Many other leading politicians have also done work on this. I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for making that point, and I will come back to it in just a minute.

I mentioned the fact that we had given that £77 billion in aid since 2013, but what does that actually mean? It means that we have helped more than 1 billion children across the world to get an education, as well as helping more than 37 million children to be immunised and more than 40 million people to have access to clean water. These are things that we in this country take for granted, but our aid has helped people in those ways across the world and I am very proud of that.