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UK Aid: Effect of Reductions

Volume 692: debated on Tuesday 20 April 2021

What assessment he has made of the potential effect of reductions in the UK aid budget on the UK’s humanitarian work overseas. (914442)

Since 2015, the UK has provided £11 billion in humanitarian funding. As the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, my hon. Friend the Member for Aldridge-Brownhills (Wendy Morton), has just stated, despite this unprecedented economic contraction, we are still proud of our contribution. We remain, in both absolute terms and percentage terms, one of the most generous ODA-donating countries in the world.

I thank the Minister for that answer. While every other G7 member state has responded to the pandemic by increasing aid, the UK Government are out there alone in choosing to cut it by approximately £4 billion this year, after a cut of £2.9 billion last year. The pandemic should have been a rallying cry to this Government, encouraging more robust and urgent investment and prioritisation action to meet sustainable development goals. Instead, this Government chose a path of staggering and shocking betrayal, turning their back on the world’s poorest. Have any impact assessments been carried out on how these cuts will affect those in conflict zones? If not, how long will we have to wait for this Government to show a shred of compassion?

I remind the hon. Gentleman and the House that the UK remains one of the largest donating countries in the G7 and indeed the world. Our commitment to that is undiminished, which is why I am very pleased that we have been able to strengthen our commitments to our headquarters in East Kilbride, in Abercrombie House. We are proud that, despite the fact that we have this economic contraction, we are still donating £10 billion in ODA.