Your leading article (International development is open to improvement, not cutting, 27 October) is correct on two points: UK aid has made a massive difference to millions of the poorest people on earth, and both that fact, and the moral imperative to help people without clean water or enough to eat, are too often ignored in the current debate.
Given the fierce criticism of aid in some parts of the media, it is not surprising that the UK government is keen to demonstrate that our generosity overseas also delivers benefits for people at home. At Oxfam we will continue to make the case – both publicly and in private – that the greatest benefit that Britain gains from its aid does not come from linking it to our short-term national interest. Instead it comes from our long-term commitment to tackle the extreme poverty that – in fragile states in particular – makes the world a more unstable place for us all.
Aid has helped halve extreme poverty in the last 15 years. The UK can and should play a leading role in eliminating it in the next 15. To do that UK aid needs to be focused on this aim as its primary purpose. What better way to show that a post-Brexit UK remains a key player on the global stage?
Chief executive, Oxfam GB
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UK aid and the danger of short-term thinking – The Guardian