· UK aid is supporting Commonwealth veterans and widows living in poverty in developing countries with two healthy meals a day.
· Coronavirus is the biggest threat the world has collectively faced in decades, with many Commonwealth veterans staying at home to stay safe. The Commonwealth Veterans Programme has quickly adjusted to register staff as essential workers, so they can continue to deliver the meals to people in their homes, while observing social distancing.
· The Commonwealth Veterans Programme supports over 6,000 veterans and widows, many of whom served in World War II, across 29 countries, including The Gambia Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Ghana and Zimbabwe
· Last year, DFID provided 12,000 meals to veterans living below the poverty line.
· The Commonwealth Veterans Programme is a joint partnership between the Department for International Development and The Royal Commonwealth Ex Services League (RCEL), to which the UK government has committed £11.8m.
International Development Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said:
“We owe a tremendous amount to our Commonwealth veterans, and it is absolutely right the UK, in the name of the British people, is supporting those who bravely made such sacrifices for our country.
“On this VE Day, I am proud to say we have taken steps to make sure these veterans continue to receive vital support. As the world deals with the coronavirus epidemic, this helping hand is needed now more than ever.”