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Overseas aid

The best of British

The best of Britain's values and traditions, overseas aid saves lives and earns the UK respect in the world. The people we serve see the difference aid makes day in, day out. Join us and show your support for standing up, not standing by.

Overview

Overseas aid is more important now than ever — and represents the best of British. Aid works, saves lives and earns the UK respect in the world. It's a small contribution to make for a country that believes in fair play, providing a helping hand when disaster hits.

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How does overseas aid rescue lives?

The IRC's mission is simple: to help the world’s most vulnerable people rebuild their lives and regain control of their futures. With 65 million people displaced by conflict or persecution worldwide, we know that UK aid is crucial in realising this.

Aid works

When a disaster or conflict hits a community, people are forced to flee in order to remain safe. Aid is the immediate response - to provide the food, water and shelter that people need to survive. 

The impact of aid speaks for itself - with the support of British taxpayers the IRC and partners provided over 1.2 million health consultations and supported over 13,000 children with education in Syria between April 2015 to December 2016.

Aid saves lives

Less money is spent on aid than is wasted on food thrown away in households across the UK. Yet the results can transform lives. UK aid stops mothers and their babies from needlessly dying, helps children stay in school, and ensures people can build their independence once again.

The generosity of the British people has provided over 30 million children under five and pregnant women with vital nutrition since 2011. It builds self-reliance, helping 69 million people work their way out of poverty in that same period.

The IRC understands that aid needs to be spent efficiently and effectively. We take inspiration from Albert Einstein, at whose request the IRC was founded, to commit to the innovation needed to respond to the most pressing problems of today. 

We know that humanitarian aid alone isn’t enough. When a crisis is over, longer-term support through development aid is essential to help communities rebuild and strengthen, preventing future crises from happening in the first place. 

Find out more about our commitment to better aid.

Why is overseas aid a British tradition?

Overseas aid represents the very best of Britain's values and long-standing traditions as a country. A country that believes in a sense of fair play, providing a helping hand when disaster hits.

The best of Britain's values

When people are suffering, the UK doesn't stand by or turn its back. Britain is better than that. The UK can be proud of its record fighting Ebola in Sierra Leone and helping Nepal to rebuild after the 2015 earthquake.

Helping others runs in the DNA of the British people, a commitment to the good the UK can bring around the world when it offers a helping hand.

It’s this national pride that was on display at the Olympic games held in London in 2012. The coming together of nations – developed and developing – on a level playing field. A celebration of what we have in common – and a British sense of fair play.

Aid brings strength, profile and influence, earning Britain respect in the world.

How can I show my support?

Now is the time to stand up for what is right. Your support will help us to show the impact overseas aid has in rescuing lives.

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The impact of overseas aid from the British people

67 million

children immunised against preventable disease

Overseas aid is the best of Britain's values and traditions

Source: DFID
13 million

reached with emergency food assistance

Overseas aid rescues lives

Source: DFID
69 million

people supported to work their way out of poverty

Overseas aid earns Britain respect in the world

Source: DFID

Meet British aid workers

  • My proudest achievement was launching emergency mobile health clinics in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We launched mobile medical teams in two camps housing over 50,000 displaced people."
    Gareth from Llanberis in Wales now works with the IRC in Greece
  • Better aid is about being responsive. The only way you can be responsive is by knowing what people want, so you ask them."
    Cat from London now works with the IRC in Uganda