Borders MP Michael Moore has been praised by the Save the Children charity for his International Development Bill which had its second reading in Westminster last Friday.
Mr Moore said, as part of the UK, Scotland’s support for the world’s poor “goes further and our impact is stronger”. His Private Member’s Bill makes it a legal requirement for the UK to spend 0.7% of Gross National Income on aid.
The bill is backed by the heads of the UK’s top international development charities and Justin Forsyth, Save the Children CEO said: “Parliament has taken a giant step toward making history. To enshrine in law the commitment to spend 0.7% of national income on aid, a long term guarantee of help to those who need it most, will save millions of children’s lives.
“There is great kudos to Michael Moore for bringing forward the Aid Bill and to all MPs who voted in favour of saving children’s lives.
“All parties agreed in their manifestos to the target of spending just 2p in every pound on the world’s poorest and it’s admirable to see British politics standing by its commitments.
“The number of children dying before the age of five has halved since 1990.
“We’ve made great progress. But nevertheless there are still one million babies a year dying unnecessarily on their first and only day of life.
“This is a landmark moment for our country and a time to be proud.”
Mr Moore said: “As part of the UK, Scotland belongs to a family of nations which are the world’s second largest donors of international aid.
“And we are not passive in this process either. 40% of the staff at DFID are based in Abercrombie House in East Kilbride.
“Together, with the rest of the UK, our money goes further and our impact is stronger.
“Scots who want their country to be a force for compassion and relief should reflect on what we have today. That we can do more as part of UK. Why would we walk away from that?”
“Enshrining the 0.7% target in law will move on the aid debate from how much we spend to how we spend it.
“This bill will make sure that as a country we continue to provide people in grave need with lifesaving support - including food, water, shelter and medical assistance.
“It will also set an example to other wealthy countries.”