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International Development (DfID)

Young Mother in Nigeria. Photo: Department for International Development

International Development: our vision

We are determined to help reduce the inequalities of opportunity we see around the world today. We believe that promoting global prosperity is both a moral duty and in our national interest.

Whether you are talking about drug-resistant disease, combating climate change, economic stability, migration or conflict, development represents tremendous value for money.

In short, it is good for our economy, our safety, our health and our future. That is why we have delivered on our commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of gross national income in aid from 2013 – and promise to enshrine it in law.

In the current financial climate, we have a particular duty to show that we are achieving value for every pound of taxpayers’ money that we spend on development. Results, transparency and accountability will be our watchwords and will guide everything we do. Aid is only ever a means to an end, never an end in itself. It is wealth creation and sustainable growth that will help people to lift themselves out of poverty. We welcome and encourage the creativity that the private sector can offer, and will work with business to open new markets, extend access to financial services, stimulate new technology and create new jobs.

We want to see girls and women, who so often hold the key to development, becoming empowered members of their communities. We will work to strengthen women’s voice and engagement in decision making. We will strengthen health systems and family planning facilities so that women can plan their families and receive treatment before, during and after childbirth. We have committed to reducing the burden of malaria in the developing world and will play our full part in ensuring that the world’s poor have access to education, healthcare, water and sanitation and other basic services. Our funding through multilateral bodies, such as the United Nations and the World Bank, will enable us to extend the scope and reach of our aid but will be based on the effectiveness of what they do, value for money and the results they achieve.

We will concentrate our efforts on supporting achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, creating wealth in poor countries, strengthening their governance and security and tackling climate change. The prize, in doing so, is huge: a better life for millions of people, and a safer, more prosperous world for Britain.

Andrew Mitchell, Secretary of State for International Development

International Development: our priorities

Honour international commitments

Honour the UK’s international commitments and support actions to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

Introduce transparency in aid

Make British aid more effective by improving transparency and value for money.

Boost wealth creation

Make British international development policy more focused on boosting economic growth and wealth creation.

Strengthen governance and security in fragile and conflict-affected countries

Improve the coherence and performance of British international development policy in fragile and conflict-affected countries, with a particular focus on Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Lead international action to improve the lives of girls and women

Work to empower and educate girls, recognise the role of women in development and help to ensure that healthy mothers can raise strong children.

Combat climate change

Drive urgent action to tackle climate change, and support adaptation and low carbon growth in developing countries.

Other major responsibilities

Respond to humanitarian disasters

Ensure that the basic needs of people whose lives have been ruined by disaster (whether natural or conflict-driven) are met, and ensure that emergency relief aid is targeted at those areas where threat to life is most severe, extent and depth of suffering greatest, and response capacities of communities and authorities most limited.

Deliver on obligations to the Overseas Territories

Help to provide an improved environment for economic and social development and promote self-sustainability.

Influence the global development system

Work with the international system, Whitehall, multilateral organisations and emerging economies to ensure coordinated worldwide action to deliver international development goals.