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Building A Better World For Older People - 2024 Manifesto

We live in an ageing world. By 2030, 1.4 billion people will be aged over 60, and this is expected to rise to 2.1 billion by 2050. While this presents challenges, it also provides enormous opportunities. Older people have much to offer to their families and communities, from providing care and financial assistance to sharing knowledge and expertise.  

Despite this, many older people’s basic needs are not being met and their human rights are overlooked. Older women in particular often spend their later years without adequate access to financial support, healthcare and social care, and their experiences and contributions remain invisible. We must do more to ensure older people are not marginalised and can lead dignified lives. 

Read the manifesto

Age International's new manifesto, 'Building A Better World For Older People', advocates for a world where everyone is included and valued. We believe the UK Government has the opportunity to create real change and improve the lives of millions of older people in low and middle-income countries.

Our manifesto reflects the voices, experiences and aspirations of older people and their communities across Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. They are facing numerous challenges, from age-related health problems to humanitarian disasters and climate change. We want to show how the UK Government can achieve tangible, impactful change.

We already lost our cattle. Now [the drought] is affecting our lives. We can’t buy food because we don’t have any money so we don’t eat. I am an old man. I need food to survive. 

 - Jatani, Ethiopia


We're calling on the UK Government to take these five calls to action to improve the lives of older people:

1. Make history by championing older people’s rights globally

Champion the creation of a United Nations Human Rights Convention for Older Persons to ensure older people across the world live with dignity and respect.

2. Tackle gender inequality for women of all ages globally

Recognise the contributions of older women to their families, communities and societies and ensure UK Government support responds to their economic, health and social needs.

3. Strengthen global healthcare to maximise wellbeing in later life

Ensure the UK Government’s contribution to global health system strengthening considers older people's needs and maintenance of health at all ages, with better primary care and greater focus on chronic illnesses.

4. Ensure international development, humanitarian and climate policy and practice include older people

Embed the inclusion of older people in UK Government policy and programmes on international development, humanitarian response, and climate change.

5. Make older lives visible by including them in data collection and analysis

Invest in improved international collection and analysis of data, so experience of later life is more visible to decision makers.

Change is possible 

We support older people facing challenging situations through our partner HelpAge International and its global network, and can see progress being made in the five areas above. For example:

  • In Malawi, our partners advocated for a more inclusive pension system, leading to 14,500 extra older people regularly receiving financial support.
  • In Tanzania, the percentage of older people in two districts reporting access to age-friendly health services rose from 3% to 15% over three years. 
  • In India's Thar desert, older people are leading climate resilience work by using traditional knowledge to mitigate the impact of drought. So far this project has benefitted 4,000 older people and 24,000 family members. 

However, we know more needs to be done. With the world's population ageing, it is essential governments and policymakers take steps to ensure older people are not left behind.

Read the manifesto

By recognising and supporting the needs of older people, the UK Government can take the lead in creating a fairer world in which all generations contribute to the future of their families, communities and countries.

Building A Better World For Older People (PDF, 2 MB)

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