But there is no room for smug self-congratulation as the struggles against disease, inequality and illiteracy are far from over, and especially as we learn the lessons of three scandalous oversights: on food security, on trade, and on support for African civil society and their drive for improved transparency and accountability.
The prime minister said that when states were broken and mired in conflict, the UK suffered from a surge in illegal immigration, asylum seeking and even terrorism. “That’s why by 2015 we’ll be putting nearly a third of all our aid into conflict states. So the aid sceptics are wrong. Aid is essential.”
Jamie Drummond, executive director of the campaign group One, said: “David Cameron was right to identify trade and democracy as crucial pillars for development but he also recognises they are supported by smart strategic aid. Countries can only prosper if they have a healthy and educated workforce. We see this now as aid can help both get food aid through to those in desperate need, as well as help build up conditions whereby food aid won’t be needed in the future.”
So the pragmatic view based on solid analysis is that aid supports countries through tough times, helps them build up systems and expertise, and as soon as possible puts itself out of business. In fact, if there’s one thing that both the sceptics and those that support evidence-based spending on aid can agree on, it is that a world without aid is the ultimate goal.
Yesterday at the GAVI conference 4.3 billion dollars was pledged to fund vaccines which will help save 4 million lives in the poorest countries in the world - Jamie has recorded this clip to thank all the one members who tweeted, emailed, and signed petitions to help make this happen.