Penny Mordaunt to pledge aid funds to help thousands of poor Commonwealth veterans
Penny Mordaunt will announce plans to channel a slice of British aid funding into helping Commonwealth veterans who served in the armed forces.
The International Development Secretary will pledge to help around 8,500 who fought for Britain from countries such as India, Pakistan, a host of African countries and beyond who are now living below the poverty line.
Some of those now struggling to get by fought with British forces in the Second World War.
In a speech at the Policy Exchange think tank today, the Royal Navy reservist will pay tribute to those who “answered the call” to serve before their countries became independent.
“Approximately 8,500 of these elderly veterans or their widows face a daily struggle to meet their basic needs: for decent food, shelter and medicines,” she will say.
“No-one could possibly think that’s right. Those who have served our nation deserve our support and protection in their twilight years."
Ms Mordaunt added: “We’re working with the veterans’ charities to ensure that those who have given so much are looked after to ensure they can live in dignity…
“It is a win for the developing world and is a win for the UK on an issue the public care passionately about: the welfare of veterans.”
Officials said it was too early to say how much the Government may contribute to the the policy when it rolls out.
Ms Mordaunt will also lay out how British aid money can better prepare Caribbean nations for the hurricane season this year, following the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma last September.
It follows a change in international rules after the UK was controversially barred from giving aid to countries deemed too wealthy to warrant it.
Elsewhere she is expected to emphasise the “deep and strong” link between UK Aid and the military as she pledges a “new approach that involves more explicit co-designed and co-funded projects” with the Ministry of Defence.