Aid has been a critical factor in why four million fewer children under five are dying each year than in 1990 and the UK has helped lead the world in that effort.
However, today's failure to bring forward legislation means future aid budgets could be cut too easily and poor countries will find it harder to plan their budgets.
We often call on poor country governments to be more accountable and to honour their commitments - today's failure to legislate on the aid target was a missed opportunity to show that the British government will lead by example.
More than half of Europe's development aid budget is going to "middle-income" countries which should not qualify, MPs have warned.
A report by a House of Commons Committee challenges the UK Government, which provided £1.23 billion in aid via the EU in 2010, to demand tougher standards to ensure support goes to the neediest nations.
British taxpayers want the aid they give to go to the places where it can make the most difference, to countries where millions of people are getting by on less than a pound a day.
– Liberal Democrat MP Malcolm Bruce who chairs the International Development Committee