UK government presses ahead with Aid cuts, targeting poorest


Categories: News

SNP condemns cruel and senseless cuts

Whilst the Prime Minister talks about Global Britain, his Foreign Secretary continues with his task of dismantling foreign aid. His illegal plans to cut the UK’s international development spending to by almost 30% have been widely criticised, with yesterday’s leaked Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) briefing demonstrating that the UK government does not care about the most vulnerable communities at home or abroad.

The leaked memo outlines that in addition to cuts to humanitarian aid in war-torn countries such as Yemen, the UK now plans to axe bilateral funding for vital overseas water, sanitation and hygiene projects by more than 80% – all at a time when the world is grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Moreover, it also makes mention that there will be a 64% cut in overall spending to the sector in 2021/2022 compared to 2019 and that the FCDO’s Wash Programme implemented by UNICEF will be closed.

Commenting, SNP Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Alyn Smith MP said:

“Never mind that the UK Government refuses to debate the legality of lowering its international aid commitments, it is absolutely damning that the funding for water, sanitation, and hygiene projects will be slashed from £150 million to £30 million at a time when handwashing and good sanitation measures are a necessity in combatting the spread of Covid-19″.

“If the Prime Minister and his Foreign Secretary genuinely believe in Global Britain, then it must lead by example in supporting the world’s most vulnerable communities. That the UK is an outlier in being the only G7 country to not increase its foreign aid commitments during the pandemic speaks volumes about its commitment to humanitarianism”

Noting the effect such a dereliction of its international duties would have on the UK reputation and the public’s support for international aid, he continued:

“The reputation the UK carefully built up in its commitment to sustainable international development has been squandered by this heartless Tory government and will take decades to recover. The people of Scotland are supportive of playing our part in helping the world’s most vulnerable communities and I urge the UK government to reconsider its senseless, callous actions”