Aid cuts must not be shouldered by people already bearing the brunt of Covid-19

Responding to the First Secretary of State’s letter stating a £2.9 billion package of reductions in the Government’s planned ODA spend, Stephanie Draper, CEO of Bond the UK network for NGOs said:

“At a time when we are facing the biggest health and humanitarian crisis of our lifetime, we would urge the government to ringfence aid going towards our global Covid-19 response and any aid that supports marginalised people facing poverty, inequality, disease, conflict and climate change.

Covid-19 has created both a health and an economic crisis. This makes it even more imperative that any aid cuts must not be shouldered by people who are already bearing the brunt of this double tragedy and as a result are being pushed further into poverty.

The government should instead look to cut programmes that have been found not to deliver for the world’s poorest people. Official Development Assistance that has been called out for being ineffective in terms of poverty alleviation include that going to the CDC Group – the UK’s development finance institution. The government should rethink its use of “promissory notes” this year so that funding promised in advance to both the CDC and multilateral institutions is instead reallocated towards programmes that are already up and running, delivering healthcare, water and sanitation, education and food, but are now facing cuts because of the inevitable fall in GNI.”


Notes to editor

  1. Official Development Assistance (ODA) spending for 2020: First Secretary of State’s letter
  2. Promissory notes are ODA contributions made in theory by DFID towards projects which meet the department’s mission “to promote sustainable development and eliminate world poverty”. The investment is not completed until projects have delivered against agreed targets and objectives and ensure that whilst the ODA target is met, the promissory note can be spent within a flexible timeframe.
  3. Bond is the UK network for organisations working in international development. Bond unites and supports a diverse network of over 400 civil society organisations from across the UK, and allies to help eradicate global poverty, inequality and injustice.
  4. For further information please contact Maryam Mohsin on 07555 336029 or [email protected]