The Government recently announced that it plans to spend less on aid in next year’s budget, reducing the 0.7% of national income currently allocated to development, and cutting it to 0.5%. Combined with cuts announced earlier this year, this will mean the 2021 aid budget will be around £4 billion (30%) smaller than it was in 2019.
This is unacceptable, especially during a global pandemic that is causing vastly more poverty worldwide. It signals that the UK is effectively turning its back on already-marginalised people and failing to play its part in building a fairer world and leaving no one behind. The impact will be felt by the poorest and most marginalised communities the hardest, and thousands of lives are at stake. With the UK hosting key global summits next year, the Government should be setting a good example of international cooperation.
It’s up to us to show that members of the public support high-quality aid programmes that save lives and build stronger health and education systems. This month, please write to your MP asking them to raise your concerns with the Prime Minister, or write to your local media publication to express why now is not the time for cuts.