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SCIAF reaction to overseas aid budget announcement

17 November 2022

Women colelcting water

SCIAF’s Chief Executive Alistair Dutton has reacted to the announcement today by the chancellor Jeremy Hunt that it won’t be possible to restore the overseas aid budget target of 0.7% in the near future. It will instead remain at 0.5% for the forecast period.

He said:

I am deeply disappointed to see that aid will remain at 0.5% for the foreseeable future and am very concerned about the devastating consequences this will have for the world’s poorest people and communities with whom we work. However, I understand that the Government is in an incredibly difficult economic position and is having to make some very uncomfortable choices. It is crucial that development spending does not fall below 0.5% and that Official Development Assistance (ODA) rules are not changed or relaxed to include other costs.

We know that aid works. We have witnessed the incredible impact of Government aid spending through five UK Aid Match projects, including £1.2 million of funding to improve the lives of survivors of sexual and gender-based violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In just one year, the project has supported over 2,300 survivors and their families to access medical care, psychological and legal support, and financial services.

We are very grateful for the generosity and loyalty of SCIAF supporters throughout Scotland, despite the difficult times we’re living through. We hope the Government’s aid budget will soon reflect their commitment, with the reinstatement of the 0.7% spending target at the earliest possible opportunity.