Don't turn your back on poor, PM told

The Archbishop of York has appealed to the Prime Minister to continue making aid a priority in spite of cuts at home.

Writing in the Yorkshire Post, Dr John Sentamu said David Cameron had the chance to make a significant and long-lasting impact on people living in poverty around the world.

Although admitting that he had sometimes been a "staunch critic" of some of the Government's policies, he said Mr Cameron and the Government had shown "real willingness" to improve the situation of people living in poverty.

He praised the "courage and moral determination" of the Government in preserving the international aid budget at a time when "severe and devastating" cuts were being made to other departments.

"As we face our own struggles with poverty and public service cuts at home, it is easy to forget those who are suffering overseas – but we should remember every individual's life is precious, wherever they live," he said.

"Tough choices at home should not mean that we turn our back on those living overseas."

He encouraged the Prime Minister to be "bold" on poverty and work with other governments on an "ambitious agenda" to end extreme global poverty by 2030.

With the Millennium Development Goals expiring in 2015, the Archbishop called for a commitment to ending poverty long into the future.

"It is true what the Prime Minister, and others, have said – we can be the generation that finally ends poverty. To do this, we must finish the job we started with the MDGs," he said.

"The Church has always said we need to go further than MDG targets, but we should not forget the UN Millennium Declaration that underpinned those targets – we need to aim high, building on what has been achieved, rather than slipping back."

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