Charities have praised the Government for meeting its commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of national income on international aid.
The divisive pledge will come into effect in the new financial year but shrinking growth forecasts mean the cash paid out is likely to be lower than expected.
Prime Minister David Cameron was pressed in the Commons just before the Chancellor's speech by one of his own MPs to drop the protected overseas spending as departmental budgets faced cuts. But aid bodies said the government had shown "international leadership" in sticking to its promise.
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