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Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Spending review announcement brings hope to the world's poorest
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¬†Catholic aid agency CAFOD welcomed chancellor Gordon Brown's Comprehensive Spending Review announcement yesterday afternoon (Tuesday) - with reservations. The government has pledged to reduce world poverty through an average 6.2 per cent real terms annual increase in the Department for Internation Development's (DFID) departmental expenditure limit over the next three years, taking it to the highest ever level in real terms - almost £3.6 billion - by 2003-04. In a statement they say: "The increased provision will enable the UK to remain a leading player in the global effort to meet the International Development Targets, under which the world's governments are committed to halving the proportion of those living in extreme poverty by 2015." Welcoming the Spending Review 2000 settlement, Clare Short, secretary of state for international development said: "This is the largest UK aid budget in real terms and underlines the government's commitment to help halve and eventually eliminate extreme poverty. "It confirms our continuing commitment to implementing our manifesto pledge to reverse the decline in aid spending which occurred before 1997. The government will ensure that the ODA/GNP ratio will rise to 0.33 per cent by 2003-04 from 0.29 per cent in 2000-01. "This settlement will enable us to make substantial progress towards meeting key international development targets in relation to health, primary education and provision of other basic services." The settlement will contribute towards meeting the international development targets in DFID's priority countries, including: * an average increase in primary school enrolment from a baseline of 75 per cent in 2000 to 81 per cent in 2004 in the top ten recipients of DFID educational support * a decrease in average under fives' mortality rates from 132 in 1997 to 103 in 2004 in the top 10 recipients of DFID health care assistance * by 2004, relief from unsustainable debt for all heavily-indebted poor countries committed to poverty reduction. George Gelber, head of public policy at CAFOD, said: "We welcome the increase in aid spending and the British government's leadership on third world debt. But unless Tony Blair uses the historic opportunity of this week's Okinawa summit to persuade fellow world leaders to deliver more world debt relief, we will remain off target in meeting the goal of halving world poverty by 2015."
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