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UKaid: helping people to lift themselves out of poverty

“Give someone a fish and you feed them for a day. Teach them to fish and you feed them for a lifetime.”

Chinese proverb

Okay, it's done the rounds but maybe that's because it captures the smartest kind of development aid, an investment in human resources, education and technology that, once made, will not need to be made again.

Developing countries don’t need hand outs - unless hit by crises such as the recent earthquake in Haiti.  But even then, once the need for emergency relief has been met, they want start-up resources and key skills to rebuild their lives and make their way out of poverty. The stories below illustrate how UKaid from the Department for International Development is working hard not just to help, but to help people and countries help lift themselves out of poverty in the long term.

Safer, shorter, better…

Photo of people using a hand pumpEvery morning Mohammed had to make an epic trek to collect his family’s daily water. But thanks to UKaid from DFID, eight new hand pumps have arrived in his area of Eritrea, cutting his morning chore down to ten minutes. And now the water’s safe too, and he has time to kick a football about and get to school on time.

Before the pumps arrived, Mohammed’s journey was rocky and dangerous - and the water wasn’t always clean. "I used to wake up very early and walk for two hours across those hills to fetch water before my lessons."

UNICEF’s water project, supported by UKaid, aims to bring safe drinking water to around 160,000 people and improved sanitation to around 300,000, across Eritrea. People will also learn about the links between hygiene and illness through the revolutionary community-led sanitation strategy, ultimately saving money for their health care systems.

Every day some 4,000 children in the world die before their fifth birthday due to unsafe water, sanitation or hygiene. However, between March 2008 and October 2009 UKaid to Africa and South Asia brought safe water to 5.8 million people, and basic sanitation to 27 million.

Providing basic services like water and sanitation is a core building block in reducing poverty – and supports improvements in health and nutrition, education and economic growth.

Don't forget to look at our WAYS TO LEARN MORE links on the right. 

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Photo of an eye looking through a clasped hand
UNICEF’s water project, supported by UKaid, aims to bring safe drinking water to around 160,000 people and improved sanitation to around 300,000, across Eritrea.

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