UK

David Cameron 'Proud' Of British Aid Spend And Giving Culture

08/06/2013 11:30 BST

David Cameron insisted aid spending made him "proud to be British" on Saturday as he urged more investment to tackle global hunger.

Hosting a conference intended to drum up billions of dollars for the developing world, the Prime Minister backed a target of saving 20million children from chronic malnutrition by 2020.

Cameron acknowledged concerns over UK aid budgets as the country suffers austerity, but said it was equivalent to just 1p from every £1 of tax paid.

Britain was "out in front" in reaching the target to give 0.7% of GDP because of the "kind of people we are", he insisted.

"We are the kind of people who believe in doing what is right," Cameron told the conference in London," he told the event in London.

david cameron

Cameron said that despite concerns, the UK was still one of the world leaders on foreign aid

"We accept the moral case for keeping our promises to the world's poorest even when we face challenges at home.

"When people are dying, we don't believe in finding excuses. We believe in trying to do something about it."

The premier said the spending was not just about "heart", saying: "We understand that if we invest in countries before they get broken we might not end up spending so much on dealing with the problems whether that's immigration or new threats to our national security.

"So yes, Britain will continue to lead from the front."

The Prime Minister was addressing fellow leaders, businessmen, and foundations as they try to hammer out ambitious targets.

The CEO of the World Food Programme, Ertharin Cousin, who is also attending the conference, said that without further action, some 400million children would be hit by hunger in the next 15 years.

enough food for everyone

The Enough Food for Everyone IF campaign are also demonstrating in support of increased investment in poor countries

Blogging for the Huffington Post UK on Saturday, Cousin wrote: "Many will suffer long term consequences in their physical and intellectual development."

"These children represent our collective failure to address under-nutrition, a glaring scandal of the 21st Century."

Campaigning groups hope that an extra $3billion US dollars of funding for direct nutritional interventions between now and 2020 can be agreed.

Bill Gates and Danny Boyle are set to address a protest rally to coincide with the London meeting, which comes ahead of the G8 summit in Northern Ireland.

The demonstration, hosted by lobby group Enough Food For Everyone IF, is expected to attract thousands to Hyde Park.

Blogging for the Huffington Post UK this week, one of the group's ambassadors, musician and TV host Myleene Klass, wrote that hunger is the "biggest scandal of our age", as the world can amply afford to feed its whole population.

Klass wrote that clamping down on tax avoidance and helping fund more infrastructure and education in poor countries could save millions of lives.

READ MORE

BLOG: There Is Enough Food For Everyone IF... - Myleene Klass

BLOG: Our Collective Failure To Address Malnutrition Is a Glaring Scandal of the 21st Century - Ambassador Ertharin Cousin