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Lead the world in working to end extreme child poverty

Last updated: 02:51pm 12 September 2019

We shall lead the world in the hard work to end extreme child poverty…

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.38

Our verdict

In 2015, the United Nations (UN) set its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Its primary goal is to “end poverty in all its forms everywhere”. The UK is a signatory to that agenda, and the current government has committed to lead the world in working to end extreme child poverty. To measure this pledge, we’re looking at funding and projects aimed at reducing child poverty.

The main mechanism used by the government to help eradicate poverty globally is Overseas Development Assistance (ODA), “support, expertise or finance…supplied by one government to help the people of another country”. For several years, the UK has been one of only a handful of countries to meet the UN target to spend 0.7% of gross domestic product (GDP) on overseas development. Under this government, that continues to be the case.

Under the umbrella of ODA, various schemes exist to further the aim of eliminating extreme child poverty, many of which began under previous administrations but have been maintained by the current government:

  • The Prosperity Fund, developed in 2015, continues to invest in developing countries to support the UN’s goals and the UK’s aid strategy.
  • In 2013, the UK Aid Match scheme was established, under which the government matches every £1 raised by a charity or projects that reduce poverty in developing nations. The second phase was launched in 2017 by the current government, increasing the amount matched and therefore increasing the amount of aid reaching the world’s poorest people.
  • The Small Charities Challenges Fund (SCCF) was launched in September 2017, offering grants to small charities that “provide life-changing support to those in need across the world”.

These and other initiatives demonstrate a degree of commitment to fighting extreme poverty. In terms of leading the world, the UK remains among the top ODA contributors in relation to its GDP. This pledge is certainly ‘in progress’. To move it to ‘done’ we’ll need further evidence of UK ODA targeted specifically at extreme “child” poverty. Follow this policy for updates.

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Related policy

  • Provide global leadership on development (aid)


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