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Love thy neighbour

Published 07 Jul 2017

The UK government’s commitment to spending 0.7% of its budget on international aid has once again been grabbing headlines. We need to be clear that aid is a force for good and, ultimately, says something about who we are.

EMMS International has received funding from the European Commission and from the UK and Scottish governments. Whilst it’s important to scrutinise the impact of aid, we see first-hand the transformation it brings to people in Malawi, one of the world’s poorest countries.

Aid helps people not countries.

Aid helps people and the priority must be the very poorest. The real impact of aid budgets is seen in lives transformed by the work they support.

The lives of children like Gloria, who have the opportunity of life free from the pain of cancer. The lives of mothers giving birth safely with the help of trained midwives. The lives of babies being born without HIV, even though their parents have the virus. All thanks to international aid supporting EMMS International’s projects.

Scrutiny is a good thing.

Spending aid money effectively is not simply a matter of fiscal responsibility. It’s important that we ensure it is having the greatest possible impact.

As EMMS International reports to you in the Annual Report and in other ways, we also report to government funders so that they can have confidence that their grants are being used to help those who need it most.

We work with long-standing
and trusted partners to ensure transparency in spending and to monitor the impact of your gifts and aid grants. Support goes through these partners and not directly to governments.

It’s not just a line in the budget.

This is the government spending on our behalf as citizens. It says something about who we are as a nation and as individuals that we commit to helping those who are most vulnerable in our world.

It provides emergency support, but also helps people to build a stronger future.

It is just a small part of what we can do support the most vulnerable people in our world, alongside trade, education, research and many other links.

It’s about being better neighbours.

Poverty is rife in countries like Malawi. People there do not have the safety net of a robust health system. So when disaster strikes, like in recent droughts and floods, there is nowhere to turn for help and support. Where can you turn when your next-door neighbour, your village, the majority of your country lives with the same burden of poverty as you do?

As Christians we are called to love our neighbours as ourselves. We have global neighbours who live without access to even basic healthcare. International aid helps us collectively to be good neighbours and build a fairer and better world.