It's hard for us to imagine life without the humble loo. It's a basic necessity; a UN-recognised human right. However, for an overwhelming two thirds of the population in South Asia, a loo is a luxury that's out of reach.
In a speech on 18 March to the London Stock Exchange, international development secretary Justine Greening said the UK wants to make it easier for British businesses to get a slice of the aid budget. This sends a worrying signal that the government is putting the interests of the private sector ahead of the interests of the poor.
Following the demise of the Big Society and the 'green blue' Tories, aid was the last bastion of David Cameron's claim to have detoxified the Tory brand. However, by abandoning the moral case for aid and seeking to mislead people about its future use, Cameron is revealing how weak he has become.
Friday is International Women's Day. And it is an opportunity for us to celebrate women in all walks of life. It is a chance to look at where we are now, how far we have come, and what needs still to be done. It is also a time to reflect on the work which is improving the lives of women across the world. It is also an opportunity for us to reflect on the vital role women are playing in our own society, be it in business, education, entertainment, public service or in the home.
The coalition government has provided nearly £40 million of ring-fenced funding for specialist domestic and sexual violence services, and national helplines. We've invested in changing attitudes and behaviours. You may have seen the UK television adverts we've launched to tackle rape and relationship abuse amongst teenagers. We've reformed our legislation, introducing two new stalking offences to better protect victims and better support the police and prosecutors who bring about justice. But we can and must do more.
This week Comic Relief celebrated its 25th anniversary and as we look back over the years, there is a lot to be proud of. For the past quarter of a century, Comic Relief has inspired people up and down the country to play a part in changing the lives of millions of people across Africa for the better.
From grassroots to international level NGOs; to the UN, the World Bank and the OECD, the message is repeated time and time again: gender inequality is a brake on development.
Often wrongly portrayed as a wasteful, cumbersome arm of bureaucratic government which just throws money at a problem, British aid is actually extremely innovative and operates in some very troubled and sensitive environments.
It seems, as far as the UK government is concerned, that aid no longer forms part of a moral commitment to global equity but is merely a business opportunity.
It is time for Justine Greening and the UK government to put their money where their mouth is when it comes to supporting women in Afghanistan. They must follow Australia's lead and make a sizeable new financial commitment to help end the shocking abuse of women.
The prime minister is a development champion at home. He has yet to show whether he will do so in Europe. He made a promise to the world's poorest. Today he can deliver.
We're in the final round of an epic fight. Now is not the time to flinch - now is the time where together we make history.
As the government acknowledges, the reality of effective aid is far more complicated. We need to empower people in the communities we work to campaign for better health services; for better education; and for laws to protect children from early marriage and harmful labour.
Last Thursday, Minister Justine Greening demeaned and insulted the Commons with a saccharine flavoured quarterly report on Afghanistan. It was stuffed the culpable self-deluding optimism that has led to the deaths of hundreds of our soldiers. Justine sweetly looked forward to a happy-ever-after corruption and drugs-free Afghanistan.
As the dust starts to settle on David Cameron's reshuffle Justine Greening will be starting to make Andrew Mitchell's old office at the Department for International Development (DFID) her own.