UK seeking to meet Millennium Development Goals

The BBC reports the UK is to stop direct aid to 16 countries, including Russia, China and Iraq. But, overall, the international development budget will rise by a third in this parliament, it says, and spending would be a "good deal better focused".

Resources will be concentrated on the 27 countries that account for three-quarters of the world's maternal mortality and malaria deaths, such as Ghana and Afghanistan. By 2014, 30% of UK aid is expected to go to war-torn and unstable countries.

India is currently one of the biggest recipients of UK development aid, and there have been media campaigns in the UK suggesting an economy growing at nearly 10% a year simply does not need British assistance. But others point out that nearly half a billion people in India are still desperately poor, and efforts to reduce global poverty will not progress without significant aid.

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