Chancellor cuts ODA by £4bn – Scotland’s International Development Alliance response
UK Chancellor of Exchequer Rishi Sunak yesterday announced massive cuts in official development assistance (ODA) from 0.7% to 0.5% of gross national income, a reduction of c. £4bn or about 30% of the ODA budget.
Scotland’s International Development Alliance CEO Jane Salmonson said ‘’taking £4bn away from the people and communities around the world who most need help, at a time when the global pandemic has already decimated economies in low income countries, does not reflect the international leadership which the UK Government proclaims for ‘Global Britain’. It does little to offset a deficit projected to reach almost £400bn. Clearly action has be taken to address the highest level of borrowing seen in the UK since world wars, and tough decisions must be made. But this particular target for cuts is both ineffectual and extraordinarily insensitive to the fact that 115 million more people around the world are forecast to be pushed into extreme poverty.
There is still time for the UK Government to review this decision in light of its impact on our standing in the eyes of the world as a development superpower, especially as we prepare to take up leading roles in two highly visible international fora, the G7 and COP26. For the UK’s global reputation but more importantly, for the lives and livelihoods of those people and families who will suffer the direct result of cuts to our development assistance, I hope the UK Government will think again.”