MPs fail world's poorest people

Yesterday, on July 13th, Members of Parliament approved the government’s proposal to continue to slash the UK foreign aid budget for an unspecified period of time. The effects of this decision will be felt most profoundly by those living in the world’s poorest places and SCIAF, along with many international development charities across the UK, condemns the move. 

The motion MPs voted to support means the UK will only return to spending 0.7% of GNI on aid when the UK is no longer borrowing for day-to-day spending and when debt is falling. There is no telling when these conditions will be met, and for those living in extreme poverty across the world, this is simply not good enough.  

As a member of Bond, the UK network of organisations working in international development, SCIAF joined with over 1,700 academics, charities and business leaders earlier this year to sign a letter urging the Prime Minister to reverse cuts to the aid budget. MPs have failed to deliver on their promise to stand up to the Prime Minister, and our poorest sisters and brothers will suffer as a result.  

Bond CEO, Stephanie Draper said:  

This was a political choice, not an economic one, which will do little other than hurt the world’s most marginalised women, men and children, and damage Britain’s reputation in the world.

This is not the time to turn our back on the world’s poorest communities. Just this week, the UN issued a report which revealed that almost 1 in 3 people globally now go hungry. The effects of the pandemic on poverty have been dire, and the UK cannot turn a blind eye at this crucial time for action. 

Our Director of Public Engagement, Penelope Blackwell, urged the government to step up.  

In the context of such clear human suffering, the UK government needs to re-evaluate its decision to slash the international aid budget. Cutting aid by billions of pounds risks destabilising many areas of conflict where humanitarian relief is necessary. We have a moral duty to help those who need it.

SCIAF is extremely disappointed with this decision which will impact millions of lives. But, with your help, we will continue to provide hope and support to people living in some of the world’s poorest places.