At a time when across the developed world public finances are under pressure, we must ensure our aid investments are cost-effective. Tackling child malnutrition could add $125 billion to the global economy each year by 2030. Yet only 0.37 per cent of aid globally is spent directly on tackling the problem. This is clearly a missed opportunity.
The eyes of the world may now be turned elsewhere, but Haiti remains one of the most vulnerable places on earth, battered repeatedly by earthquakes, cyclones, floods, landslides, drought, and epidemics. Hurricanes routinely knock up to 15% from GDP. The total volume of humanitarian aid to Haiti since 2001 exceeds $4billion. The challenge ahead is stark.
A colleague of mine working on the post-Millennium Development Goal (MDG) framework said only last week "we get the chance for deep thought in the development sector once every 20 years, let's not waste it". Judging by the speech to UK civil society organisations, Ivan Lewis MP, shadow secretary of state for international development, is seizing the moment.
A child's right to protection is everything - and the Millennium Development Goals, agreed at the turn of the century with ambitious development targets for 2015, have achieved much we should be proud of.
This year marks 10 years since the start of conflict in Darfur and the numbers speak for themselves. During 3,655 days of violence, hundreds of thousands have died, millions have been forced from their home and 2.7 million still rely on food aid for survival. As we approach the grim anniversary of when violence began, I visited the war-ravaged region this week to see for myself the impact British aid is having on the ground. In many ways, the fact that I am only able to blog about it after returning from Darfur because of the security threat, speaks louder than any of the words I can write.