In July, the UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab quietly announced through a letter to the MPs that the foreign aid budget would be cut by £2.9 billion, blaming the economic impact of COVID-19. Our Leave No one Behing Working Group Co-chairs respond.
The letter, sent out as the House of Commons rose for summer recess to the chairs of three parliamentary Committees, states that the package of reductions is necessary to ensure that spending on aid remains at 0.7% of GNI as the economy shrinks over the remainder of this year. It gives assurances to maintain funding on poverty reduction for the ‘bottom billion’, but also states that the planned package of cuts will maintain ‘flexibility’ and manage spending ‘against an uncertain 0.7% position’. Read more analysis from Bond here.
What is abundantly clear is that this letter leaves many questions unanswered about where the proposed cuts will land, and that means they could risk falling hardest on the world’s poorest people already bearing the brunt of Covid-19.
As co-chairs of the Alliance’s Leave No One Behind (LNOB) Working Group, we therefore urge the UK Government to protect aid that supports marginalised people facing poverty, inequality, disease, conflict and climate change and to honour its commitment to Leaving no one behind* ensuring:
- every person has a fair opportunity in life no matter who or where they are
- prioritisation of marginalised groups to break the vicious cycle of poverty, disability and exclusion.
- every person counts and will be counted
*Leaving no one behind: Our promise (DFID, Updated 6 March 2019)
The Alliance’s Leave No One Behind Working Group exists to provide a space for Alliance members to share good practice, learning and knowledge on working with marginalised groups. Marginalised groups include but are not restricted to people living with a disability or people with life limiting conditions, older people, LGBTI/LGBTIQ+ community, and people with mental health conditions. The purpose is to increase knowledge of different forms of marginalisation in pursuit of inclusive development and advocate for and on behalf of marginalised groups to find practical ways to overcome challenges and improve outcomes for marginalised groups. Get in touch for more info.
By Co-chairs of the LNOB Working Group:
Rachel Tainsh, Programme and International Development Lead, Mellow Parenting
Linda Todd, CEO, The Leprosy Mission Scotland
Elfreda Whitty, Programme Manager, CBM UK