Baroness Jenkin

18 May 2012 10:00:35

Could you live on just £1-a-day for five days? Baroness (Anne) Jenkin accepted the challenge...

By Tim Montgomerie
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1.4 billion people live on £1 or less every day. "Live Below The Line" is a campaign that challenges people in the developed world to do the same.

20,000 people in Britain, America and Australia accepted the challenge this year including Tory peer Anne Jenkin, who also established Conservatives for International Development.

As part of her £1-a-day experience she cooked for special guests for a special online edition of Channel 4's Come Dine With Me. Her guests including former Scottish first minister Jack McConnell and Made in Chelsea star Francis Bouille. Watch the video below as she treats her fellow diners to such delicacies as Dahl Delight with Optimistic Onions!

As well as raising awareness of global poverty Baroness Jenkin hopes to raise £20,000 in sponsorship for Restless Development. See her page here.

13 Feb 2012 19:56:55

Tory MPs to Telegraph: Indians need our aid

By Tim Montgomerie
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Yesterday on ConservativeHome Ruth Lea questioned the continuation of UK aid to India. Her sceptical position is shared by most Britons. By 60% to 14% voters told YouGov that aid spending should be switched to countries with greater needs.

In a letter to The Telegraph Tory MPs Bob Blackman, William Cash, Stephen Hammond, Richard Harrington, Pauline Latham and Jeremy Lefroy have come to its defence (my emphasis):

"SIR – In the debate about British aid to India, we believe our programme in India is helping to rebuild lives and is also in Britain’s long-term interest. While it is true that India is a growing economic force, it is also home to a third of the world’s very poorest people. It is right for Britain to work with the Indian government to help tackle this dire poverty.

It is also right to ensure that our aid is targeted effectively. We welcome the Coalition Government’s radical overhaul of the Department for International Development’s aid programme to India: freezing the amount spent and targeting it at three of the poorest states. India is a vital strategic ally with whom we share extensive connections; more than 1.6 million British Indians live here. With India we share democracy, the English language and trade links that amount to billions of pounds. India will be an essential partner if we are to rebalance our economy and improve human rights around the globe.
Providing short-term support to ensure people in India can eat and live should not be contentious. We do not believe our aid programme should continue indefinitely, but now isn’t the time to turn our backs."

I certainly agree. DFID notes that "a third of the world's poorest people (living on less than 80p a day) live in India – more than in sub-Saharan Africa". Just because the Indian government has the wrong spending priorities, the poor citizens of its country should not suffer.

Other signatories include a number of business people plus Lord Popat of Conservative Friends of India and Baroness Jenkin of Conservative Friends of International Development.