The UK Government Must Stop Sweeping Aid Cuts under the Carpet

As the UK prepares to host the G7 summit this weekend, we are calling on the UK government to stop sweeping the upcoming foreign aid cuts under the carpet and to honour their legal commitment to provide 0.7% of the UK’s Gross National Income (GNI) to humanitarian aid.  

SCIAF, in collaboration with almost 1000 other organisations, is urging the government to put the aid cuts to a parliamentary vote after a previous attempt by MPs to force a vote was ruled out earlier this week.  

Lewis Ryder-Jones, Deputy Chief Executive of Scotland’s International Development Alliance, expressed his dismay at the government’s plan to deny parliament a vote. 

"The government’s continued attempts to prevent parliament from having a say on whether the aid cuts should be reversed is nothing short of shameful.

"As the UK prepares to host world leaders, rather than leading by example, it is choosing to step back and cut a vital lifeline to some of the world’s most marginalised people and communities, ravaged by war, climate change and the pandemic."

SCIAF works with partners in some of the world’s poorest places to fight injustice and have experienced first-hand just how much climate change, conflict and the coronavirus have unfairly affected poorest communities first. Cutting the aid budget from 0.7% to 0.5% would result in a monetary loss of around £4bn and would drastically impact the communities we work with. 

Our Chief Executive, Alistair Dutton, explains just how preposterous this decision is on the eve of the G7 summit:  

"On the one hand the UK government will be rolling out the red carpet for world leaders at the G7 summit and on the other hand it has chosen to slash vital support to millions of people during one of the worst pandemics in history.

"In doing so the UK government is also breaking a manifesto commitment and is moving forward with the cuts with no transparency, consultation or meaningful strategy, and without parliamentary approval, which breaks the law.

"Amongst the biggest cuts include a 60% cut in humanitarian aid to war ravaged Yemen and a 67% cut to Syria as well as a 95% reduction to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) threatening efforts to finally eradicate the disease, meaning that as many as 380 million children will no longer receive their polio vaccination."

SCIAF condemns the government’s hypocrisy at such an important time for international collaboration and will continue to fight against injustice around the world.  

Keep an eye on our Twitter feed for updates surrounding G7 and the foreign aid cuts.