26 January 2021

Simon Starling, Director of Policy, Advocacy & Research at Bond, the UK network for organisations working in international development, said: 

“Despite some reassuring words from the Foreign Secretary on the centrality of poverty alleviation to the new strategic approach, whether this is the case or not will be seen in the actions the UK takes with the aid budget. Programmes focused on reaching the most marginalised, tackling gender equality, responding to conflict, providing healthcare, food, clean water and sanitation should be protected from further cuts. If the government is intent on moving forward with further aid cuts, they should instead look to cut programmes that have been found not to deliver for the world's most marginalised people.

I would hope the Foreign Secretary’s intention to be “right not quick” applies as much to cutting UK aid programming in the midst of a pandemic, as to ensuring their plans to miss the UK’s 0.7% commitment are legal.”

Notes to editor 

  1. Aid NGOs today called for transparency around how the UK government is cutting its aid programmes: https://www.bond.org.uk/press-releases/2021/01/shrouded-in-secrecy-uk-aid-cuts-are-happening-behind-closed-doors-agencies 
  2. The Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs appeared before the International Development Select Committee for the first time since DFID-FCO merger and aid cut on Tuesday 26 January 2021
  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 or interviews please contact Maryam Mohsin on 07555 336029 or [email protected]