CAFOD comments on Comprehensive Spending Review

The Coalition government has made it clear that there will be austere times ahead.  In order to reduce the country's deficit, wholesale cuts will have to be made.

This week's Comprehensive Spending Review has set out the government's budgetary plans in detail, including international aid. CAFOD welcomes the UK government's renewed commitment to reach the historic target of spending 0.7 per cent of national income on aid from 2013.  Standing by this promise made forty years ago at the United Nations, will make a life changing difference to millions of the poorest and most vulnerable people around the world. Britain can be proud to have stood by its promises on aid as a recognised leader in the fight against global poverty, which increase the UK's impact on the world stage and make it harder for other world leaders to renege on their aid promises.

Aid represents a tiny amount of our public spending - just 1% of our overall budget - yet it makes a life-changing difference to millions of people around the world. It is a crucial part of the package of measures which lift people out of poverty - indeed it is our moral duty to provide effective and sustained aid to those who need it most.

CAFOD and its partners firmly believe that development aid makes a real and lasting difference. One of our partners, the Kitovu Mobile AIDS Organisation, was founded in 1987 to provide desperately needed services for people in remote villages in South West Uganda, living with and affected by HIV and AIDS. A dedicated group of people have continued to visit homes and villages, providing nursing and medical care as well as social, psychological and spiritual understanding and comfort.

Kitovu Mobile's Programme Director - Robina Ssentongo says: "Over 30,000 people living with HIV and AIDS have so far been registered and cared for since Kitovu Mobile began work. Together with a faithful band of over 700 community workers (volunteers), we care for over 5,000 people at 120 home-based care centres, where people meet on a daily basis to access our services.

"People living with HIV and AIDS in remote villages have now been given the chance to live a better quality of life, supporting themselves and caring for their families, whilst receiving regular anti-retroviral medications. "

Despite these efforts, the AIDS pandemic continues.  To date there is no cure or vaccine, so CAFOD partners like Kitovu Mobile continue to face the daily challenges of supporting those living with or affected by the illness in their communities. Funding is vital to ensure that there is access to health and medical care as well as counselling.

Robina continues: "We must make sure that there is enough aid money to care for the needs of the people who need it most, both now and in the future - the people we work with are depending on us."

At CAFOD we strongly believe in being accountable to the communities we serve, both in England and Wales and in the developing world. This means that transparent, accountable aid is a vital part of the work to alleviate poverty and suffering of those who live in the world's poorest countries.

However, aid is just one part of the overall picture. CAFOD will continue to closely monitor the government's record on tackling issues such as making business work for the poorest, and dealing with the impact of climate change on the world's poorest and most vulnerable.

CAFOD will remain vigilant against any threats to the impartiality of aid distribution any emerging risk that aid priorities will not continue to be set by the needs of the world's poorest, but by foreign policy, business or security interests. Such a threat could undo much of the good work already done through aid, and would certainly damage both the reputation and the effectiveness of aid in future.


Share this story