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Overseas Aid & Development Commission - Celebrating 40 years of Guernsey overseas aid

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Wednesday 26 February 2020

On 27th February 1980, the States of Deliberation, having considered a report from the special committee, agreed to establish the States Overseas Aid Committee.

A budget of £50,000 was allocated, for contributions to projects which addressed basic needs in the world's poorest countries.

Deputy Roy Le Poidevin was elected as the first President of the new Committee.

The States' decision acknowledged the generosity of the charitable giving of Guernsey residents at home and overseas. States Members were keen that the new Committee should complement and enhance this generosity. This commitment remains at the core of the decisions today's Commissioners undertake on behalf of the people of Guernsey.

Today marks the 40th anniversary of this important decision.

Since February 1980, the need for development aid around the world, sadly, is still substantial. Overseas aid projects, with the ethos of "a hand up, not a hand-out", enable communities in the poorest countries to improve the provision of basic needs for their citizens. Children being educated under trees still need classrooms and school toilets to be built. Families living in remote villages still need health centres close to home, and water that is clean and safe. The work of the Overseas Aid & Development Commission remains as important as it did forty years ago.

However, over the passage of time, the countries most in need of aid have changed. For example, in the early days, a significant percentage of the Committee's funds supported projects in India. Today, although poverty and the inequalities of wealth distribution remain significant challenges for India, the country is ranked 129 out of 189 countries on the Human Development Index - a combined measure of life expectancy, access to education, and GDP.

Meanwhile, poverty, food insecurity, poor health and economic disadvantage continue to mark most countries in Africa, and the bulk of the Commission's work is focused there.

During 2020, the Commission will be organising a number of events to mark the life changing and indeed life-saving difference money from Guernsey has made and continues to make around the world, for the past forty years. The Commission will also take the opportunity of this significant anniversary to continue to raise the awareness of the amazing work that several locally-based charities are doing, to enable particular communities in the poorest of countries to build healthy and productive lives and to live without a reliance on aid from overseas donors.

The Commission is using its 40th anniversary to say thank you to the people of Guernsey for the positive impact they've had on the lives of others, and to demonstrate how our commitment to overseas aid remains good for Guernsey, and good for the world.

Downloads

Billet III of 1980 40 years of overseas aid

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