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Thanks to you: Transforming lives through UK aid

Thanks to you: Transforming lives through UK aid

Last week was a big week and somewhat of a shock for many in the UK with the announcement of the general election on the 8 June. But what does the general election have to do with international development?

UK aid – it’s been under the spotlight in recent months. The British public have witnessed devastating images of starving children in East Africa and donated generously to help save families from one of the worst droughts to hit the region in years. The generosity of the UK has provided and continues to provide a lifeline for suffering children and those less fortunate. So commitment from all parties to stand by the legal promise to spend 0.7% of gross national income on aid ahead of the election has never been so important.

UK aid works:

Helped halvedthe number of people living in extreme poverty in the world in recent years

11.3 million childrenin primary and lower secondary education have been supported since 2011 giving children living in poverty a less dependent and brighter future

Helped haltglobal health epidemics such as the Ebola Crisis

Here at Plan International UK, UK aid also contributes to our work. We take a look at a few of our programmes that are only possible thanks to the support of Britain.

You helped end child marriage in Malawi

Around the world, girls as young as eight are forced into marriage. Child marriage denies girl’s from having a childhood and often forces girls to become mothers before their bodies are ready for it. Child marriage can also restrict girls from having a voice and becoming financially independent, often leaving them feeling powerless of their own future. It’s a gross violation of a girl’s rights and it needs to end.

In Malawi, UK aid funded our work to support 12 young people to become advocates to campaign to end child marriage in their country. The project included years of work which turned into a public campaign in July 2016. The campaign to end child marriage received the support of more than 42,000 people in the UK and throughout the world. After presenting the petition to government in February 2017, parliament agreed in a landslide vote to close the loophole that was making it easier for children to be forced into marriage.

It was UK aid that helped to train and empower young advocates to stand up for their rights which ultimately led to a change in the law!

You’re helping to save lives through clean water and hygiene

Over 315,000 children under five die every year from diarrhoeal diseases caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation. Not only are these deaths heart-breaking, but they’re preventable.

With the support of funding from UK aid, our programme in Bangladesh and Pakistan – a collaboration with four other NGOS to save lives through clean water and sanitation – provided:

  • 279,417 people with access to clean drinking water
  • 1.9 million people with access to improved sanitation
  • 7.1 million people reached through hygiene promotion activities

Whatever comes from the election, Britain should stand by its promise to be a fair nation that promotes stability and prosperity around the world, and supports the poor. Now isn’t that something to be proud of!

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