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And in other news... The British taxpayer saves four million lives

Matthew Barrett
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As Tim Montgomerie wrote yesterday, David Cameron's stubborness "sometimes serves very good causes". Tomorrow the Prime Minister will announce plans to raise a further £2.25bn in global aid to increase immunisation programmes.

Cameron FCO The Guardian reports the Prime Minister is using the aid announcement to re-affirm his compassionate conservatism:

"With his modernising credentials damaged by the row about NHS reforms, Cameron is determined to show that he is committed to a generous UK aid budget, and reassure those on the centre left he is a centrist Conservative. He also believes he can see off the aid sceptics in his own party, mainly from the right."

Britain will be making a "substantial" extra contribution to help reach the increase in the budget for immunisation programmes between 2011 and 2015, which will save an estimated four million children's lives in Africa. The aid pledge was discussed with President Obama during his state visit to this country earlier this week. The Obama administration is being asked to give $450m to the programme.

Alan Duncan, a Minister at the Department for International Development, appeared on Sky News' Murnaghan programme this morning, and framed the aid budget in simple and effective terms:

"The fact is, if you had a pound, would you give a halfpenny to stop someone dying in the street? The answer is you probably would, and what we are doing is stopping millions of people dying from disease, we are helping educate people and make them healthy."


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