Yesterday, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond dismissed plans to enshrine in law Britain’s commitment to spend 0.7% of Gross National Income on overseas aid in the Daily Telegraph. Today, a response to the comments from NGOs, including RESULTS, has been published on the Telegraph website. Have a read of the response below:

Philip Hammond is misguided in his comments about the aid law that is passing through Parliament (“Law to protect foreign aid rejected”, November 13).

This bill enjoys cross party support. Enshrining the UK’s aid promise in law would deliver the 2010 manifesto pledge of all three main political parties as well as the coalition agreement.

We should be proud that the UK has reached this international target. This law puts lifesaving aid beyond politics, guaranteeing that 0.7% of GNI is spent on aid per year, linked to economic performance, until it is no longer needed. The bill would also move the debate from how much aid to how can we use aid most effectively to have the greatest impact.

And finally, this bill sends an important signal to developing countries that we will keep our aid promise to them and it reminds other rich countries that they too must meet their aid targets.

UK aid saves and changes lives every day. Philip Hammond is witnessing that first hand in Sierra Leone where the UK is leading the fight against the deadly Ebola virus. However humanitarian aid alone is not enough to end extreme poverty, this is why enshrining the target in law will ensure that aid is used to enable future UK governments to make smart long-term investments that address the root causes of poverty A law that protects this lifesaving assistance is very far from “bizarre”.

Aaron Oxley, Executive Director, RESULTS UK

Amy Dodd, Coordinator, UKAN

Ben Jackson, Chief Executive, Bond

Bert R Smit, CEO, ADRA-UK

Justin Forsyth,Chief Executive, Save the Children

Caroline Harper, CEO, Sightsavers UK

Chris Bain, CEO, Cafod

Diane Sheard, UK Director, The ONE Campaign

Jehangir Malik OBE, UK Director, Islamic Relief

Justin Byworth, CEO, WorldVision UK

Loretta Minghella, Chief Executive, Christian Aid

Margaret Batty, Director of Policy and Campaigns, WaterAid

Rose Caldwell, Executive Director of Concern Worldwide (UK)

Simon O’Connell, Executive Director Elect, Mercy Corps

Tanya Barron, CEO, Plan UK

This letter was first published on the Telegraph website here.