Aid cuts are a ‘betrayal’ of UK’s historic responsibility

Wednesday, 25 November, 2020

Reacting to the cuts to the UK aid budget, announced by the Chancellor today, Daniel Willis, aid campaign manager at Global Justice Now, said:

“Today’s brutal slashing of the UK aid budget is not only a betrayal of countless promises, but will accelerate the UK’s increasingly extractive relationship with the global south. Even many of the efforts to defend the 0.7% target this week have talked about how good it is for Britain - profoundly missing the point. 

"The aid budget is a small and imperfect recognition of the UK's historic responsibility to countries and continents it has colonised, and it continues to be worth fighting for. But UK aid should not be a tool for the imperial nostalgia of ‘Global Britain’. It should be about redistributing wealth and resources to tackle international challenges like climate breakdown, inequality and Covid-19.

“A government with the slightest interest in limiting the damage of these cuts would start with the most damaging aspects of its recent aid strategy, including funding for dirty fossil fuel projects, unaffordable private hospitals and luxury hotels, often through the unaccountable CDC Group that has a poor record on aid impact. Instead, these are the areas we are likely to see protected.”

Notes

1. The CDC Group is due to receive £779 million to CDC between 1 April and 30 June 2021 (£484m deferred from this year).

2. Doing more harm than good: Why CDC must reform for people and planet, Global Justice Now, February 2020

3. The future of aid after DfID: Shocking development projects supported by the UK, Global Justice Now, July 2020

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