Devex Examines Proposed Legislation To Change U.K. Official Development Assistance Spending; Aid Experts, Charities React

Devex: DevExplains: Why the U.K. government wants to change the International Development Act
“In a week of shock waves for the United Kingdom’s development sector, an unclear path now lies ahead. On Thursday, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced the government would be introducing new legislation to allow it to spend less on official development assistance. This followed Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s announcement that the U.K. will not be spending 0.7% of gross national income on official development assistance, instead dropping the amount to 0.5% of GNI, amid the economic chaos caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. But does the government really need to bring new legislation, and how much do we know about its plans? Devex asked the experts…” (Worley, 11/27).

The Guardian: U.K. aid cuts ‘unprincipled, unjustified and harmful,’ say experts and MPs
“The U.K. aid cuts announced by chancellor Rishi Sunak could see a million girls lose out on schooling, nearly three million women and children go without life-saving nutrition, and 5.6 million children left unvaccinated, causing up to 100,000 deaths, charities, aid experts, and MPs have said. They described the slash in funding to overseas aid, from 0.7% to 0.5% of Britain’s gross national income, as ‘unprincipled, unjustified, and harmful’ just as a global health crisis is throwing decades of progress on poverty, healthcare, and education into reverse. There was wide agreement that women and girls would be the hardest hit…” (McVeigh/Beaumont, 11/26).

POLITICO: U.K.’s ‘Trumpian’ slash to foreign aid cast as potential blow to global health
“…[T]he U.K.’s cut to overseas aid risks further damaging the sector and tarnishing the U.K.’s leadership role, warn health advocacy groups. As those working in global health scramble to undo the damage caused by already-disrupted health programs, such as canceled measles vaccination campaigns and a significant decrease in HIV testing, they face having much less cash to do it with. … This decision is ‘really devastating for the U.K. as an international leader in development, global health, and the HIV response,’ said Jenny Vaughan, senior advocacy adviser at STOPAIDS. In particular, the cut puts future increases to projects such as the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria at risk, she warned…” (Furlong, 11/27).

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