Like Justine Greening, I can't understand the arguments made by some against spending 0.7% of GNI to relieve suffering overseas. They should remember that 7p in every £10 is a small slice of our national income when compared with the spectre of people dying unnecessarily, living without access to education or even clean water.
There is a growing amount known about the role of religion in the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa. Or, at least, this has been a privileged area in the thin research available on religion and health. But the framing, in the mass media and contemporary debates, of religious interventions in prevention and stigma has meant that very little of it has trickled out of specialist publications.
It's time for us all to act by confronting the reality that there are simple, cost-effective solutions that can make a major difference to the lives of thousands across sub-Saharan Africa. From early diagnosis to prompt treatment, anti-malaria medication and treatments to prevent malaria in pregnancies, there are direct actions that can be taken in countries across the region that will have a disproportionate impact on malaria diagnoses.
Some places almost never get the attention they deserve. One of these is the Democratic Republic of Congo. A vast country of some 80 million people, at the heart of Africa. It has struggled since independence in 1960 with a poor colonial legacy, cold war manipulations, venal and incompetent governments, and a succession of wars.
The UK will not stand on the sidelines while millions suffer from this entirely preventable and treatable disease. It's time for the international community to come together yet again and keep up their commitments. We need another decade of action against malaria. The prize could be another million lives saved.
The French military intervention in Mali since mid-January and much of the official discussion of Mali in the UN and among Western governments seem to have been driven by a quite narrow and short-term view of the issues the country faces. As in anything, if the problem is mis-diagnosed, the solution will probably mis-fire.
A fortnight ago I announced that the UK, through the Department for International Development, would throw its weight behind the global movement to finally bring an end Female Genital Cutting (FGC). Momentum is building and I firmly believe we have a chance to end the practice within a generation...