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UK aid

The UK Government’s aid programme has the power to end disease, hunger and extreme poverty, to build strong economies, to bring hope and opportunities, and to help the world’s most vulnerable people live lives of dignity.

UK aid – what does it do?

When we look around the world today we see immense human suffering.  Children are dying from preventable diseases, while drug-resistant infections are brewing that threaten us here at home.  Violence and conflict are pulling people back into poverty and threatening our national security.  UK aid, delivered by the Department for International Development (DFID) is a core part of the UK response to these issues.

Along with the UK’s world-class defence and diplomacy, UK aid provides the greatest return on investment for the taxpayer.  It works by heading off trouble before military intervention is needed or a major crisis develops.

When people across the globe see UK aid supplies arriving in their village or refugee camp – they know that the UK is on their side.  Our experts are serving around the world, providing a badge of hope to millions and shaping a better and safer world for everyone.

Work in Scotland

The UK Government has over 900 staff at DFID’s joint headquarters in East Kilbride.  The department draws in expertise from across Scotland and the whole of the UK, enabling it to achieve the best results worldwide.

Case study: helping female camel milk farmers in Kenya

DFID is funding a Mercy Corps project that is empowering Kenyan traders in rural areas, by helping them distribute their camel milk and boost its shelf life by supplying solar powered refrigerated vending machines to keep it fresh.

The scheme is helping around 50 female camel milk traders near Wajir, in Kenya’s rural northeast, tackle the problems faced farming in temperatures averaging 40 degrees Celsius.  The women are supplied with fridges and get access to a refrigerated Mercy Corps van to transport it 50 miles to Wajir, where its shelf life is boosted by being sold in refrigerated vending machines.

Before as much as a quarter of camel milk produced was spoiled because of the searing heat and the traders were forced to boil the milk to try and preserve it, destroying precious nutrients and flavour.

The women no longer need to spend money on firewood to boil their milk, which also has an environmental benefit.

Camel milk is popular across Africa and the Middle East and is hailed by scientists as the closest alternative to human breast milk – containing ten times more iron and three times more vitamin C than cow milk.

Aid organisation Mercy Corps, which has its European HQ in Edinburgh, launched the project as part of a Building Resilience and Adaption to Climate Extremes and Disasters (BRACED) programme, funded by UK aid through DFID.

Watch the videos below to find out more about how the Department for International Development (DFID) works with Scottish charities and how Scottish aid workers at DFID work to save lives.

More information

Find out more about UK aid - external link

Read the  Scottish Government’s international development policy.

Find out more about life in Scotland.