Age International, as its name suggests, has something to say about the importance of meeting the needs and upholding the rights of older people all around the world.
There has been some media coverage recently suggesting that the UK shouldn’t be helping vulnerable people in other parts of the world. Age International believes that everyone deserves a fair chance in life and works to make sure older people have essential healthcare, pensions and help during a crisis in the world's poorest countries.
UK aid supports some of the most vulnerable people in the world, including older people.
Despite a higher risk of vulnerability, older people are all too often overlooked and neglected, so it is vitally important that they are supported wherever they are. Using UK aid to support older people is a smart decision - it helps the most vulnerable, it strengthens communities and is an investment in the economics of developing countries.
928 million people over the age of 60
The world is undergoing a massive demographic shift and population ageing is affecting even the poorest of countries.
There are 928 million people over the age of 60 in the world today, with over 60 per cent living in developing countries. By 2050, the number of older people will have risen to 2 billion, or one-fifth of the world’s population – and 80 per cent will be living in what are now developing countries.
The UK can be proud to have played a part, through its development assistance, in helping to increase life expectancy worldwide, through efforts to improve health, education and economies in developing countries.
Age International believes that good development requires, among many other things, that the needs of older people are recognised and met. We are not alone in this: the UN’s global Sustainable Development Goals say the same; as does the World Health Organisation and the UK Government.
Older people are often left behind
Later life in developing countries brings with it new challenges. Families are finding it difficult to offer support to their parents and grandparents due to poverty. Older people themselves are frequently taking on roles as primary carers for grandchildren, spouses and parents. And when families are forced to migrate to look for work, older people are often left behind.
In today’s ageing world, Age International is committed to doing everything we can to ensure that there is a better international response to the needs of older people. As a leader in overseas development assistance, the UK Government plays a vital role to ensure that those older people who are among the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people are properly included in the help that we give.