21 April 2021

The UK NGO sector has condemned the government's long awaited breakdown of aid cuts and have urged the government to reverse its decision. 

In a statement, organisations supported by millions of British people, including Save the Children, Oxfam, ONE, Christian Aid, Care International and The HALO Trust state: 

"Today’s announcement is a tragic blow for many of the world’s most marginalised people the UK once supported, and for the UK's reputation as a trusted development partner. The government has not even spared countries ravaged by humanitarian crisis, disease, war and poverty. When other nations are stepping forward and bolstering their aid budgets, the UK has instead chosen to step back.” 

“In a year when the UK has the chance to show leadership at G7 and COP26, withdrawing vital investment needed to keep everyone safe from health pandemics, conflicts and climate change, is the wrong move.” 

Romilly Greenhill, UK Director of anti-poverty organisation the ONE Campaign, said: 

“Now we’ve seen where the axe has fallen, it’s clear the Government’s words are not matched by actions.  

“The cuts reveal a Government which makes bold declarations about the importance of investing in girls' education and preventing future health crises, but takes a scythe to the very projects needed to deliver on these ambitions - all in the midst of a pandemic and the same year we’re due to host major summits on these issues. 

“The promised new era of British leadership is going to be very hard to deliver whilst we’re turning our back on the world's most difficult challenges.” 

Kevin Watkins, Save the Children CEO, said: 

“When every other G7 nation is stepping up in the face of a global pandemic and increasing their support for the poorest and most vulnerable people, the UK is alone in choosing to step back, even as it prepares to host the G7 Summit. The huge cuts to Yemen - the world's biggest humanitarian crisis - and the admission they were made without an assessment of their potential impact, point to a government making cuts with no consideration for the human harm they will cause. These cuts will trim UK borrowing by a fraction, but devastate lives across many of the world’s poorest countries. At a time when the UK should be leading the international community in responding to the climate crisis ahead of the climate summit, it is slashing aid to communities on the front line of that crisis. The UK’s hard-won reputation for international leadership in aid is in tatters.”

HALO Trust CEO Major General James Cowan said:  

"As a former General and CEO of a humanitarian organisation, I welcome the Foreign Secretary’s plans to harness the UK’s unique strengths in conflict. But the budget proposed for conflict response falls far short of what is needed. It will be felt disproportionately in the Middle East, where countries are crippled by explosives and IEDs, causing millions to live in squalid refugee camps. 

Without sustained UK funding, HALO will not be able to remove and destroy the bombs, IEDs and munitions that cause countless deaths and stand in the way of building peace and stability. As host of this year's G7, the UK should be showing leadership in conflict response and recovery and backing this up with the means necessary to deliver."

Laurie Lee, Chief Executive of Care International said:  

“This statement says nothing about what has been cut or why. We need full transparency. Parliament should be allowed to vote on the budget AND the 0.7% promise should be kept” 


Notes to editor  

  1.  UK Official Development Assistance departmental allocations 2021-22 : Statement: https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-statements/detail/2021-04-21/hcws935 
  2. For further information or interviews please contact Maryam Mohsin on 07555 336029 or [email protected] 
  3.  The statement was signed on to by the following NGOs:

Karl Hankinson, CEO, Able Child Africa 

Jean-Michel Grand, Executive Director, Action Against Hunger 

Katie Husselby, Coordinator, Action for Global Health Network 

John Good, Interim CEO, ActionAid UK 

Jimmy Innes, CEO, ADD International 

Bert R Smit, CEO, ADRA-UK  

Andrew Betts, Director, Advantage Africa 

Charlie Hay, CEO, AfriKids 

Chris Roles, Managing Director, Age International 

Professor Ian J Govendir, CEO, AIDS Orphan  

Graeme Hodge, CEO, All We Can 

Jonathan Hargreaves, Founder and Director, Amplifying Voices UK 

Camilla Knox-Peebles, Chief Executive, Amref Health Africa UK 

Alex Daniels, Chief Executive, APT Action on Poverty 

Penny David, CEO, Ashanti Development 

Stephanie Draper, CEO, Bond 

Andrew Jowett, OBE, CEO, Build It International 

Laurie Lee, Chief Executive, CARE International UK 

Kirsty Smith, CEO, CBM UK & BasicNeeds 

Anna-mai Andrews and Katie Fowler, Co-CEOs, Chance for Childhood 

Helen McEachern, CEO, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women 

Martina Gant, CEO, Child.org  

Rachel Bentley, Co-founder and CEO, Children on the Edge 

Amanda Khozi Mukwashi, Chief Executive, Christian Aid 

Danny Harvey, Executive Director, Concern Worldwide (UK) 

Jonathan Cohen, Executive Director, Conciliation Resources 

Peter Marsden, Chief Executive, Concordis International  

Lizet Vlamings, Interim CEO, Consortium for Street Children 

Andy Pask, CEO, Cord 

Meena Varma, Director, Dalit Solidarity Network UK  

Charlotte Slente, Secretary General, Danish Refugee Council (DRC) 

Kavita Prasad, CEO, DeafKidz International 

Ellen Waters, Director of Development, Doctors of the World UK 

Monowara Gani, CEO, Doctors Worldwide 

Professor David Hulme, CEO, Effective States Research Centre,  
Global Development Institute, University of Manchester 

Lyndall Stein, Interim CEO, Elrha 

Tim Livesey, CEO, Embrace the Middle East 

Mark Smith, Director, Enable Ed CIC 

Tricia Barnett, Director, Equality in Tourism International 

Aileen Burmeister, National Coordinator, Fair Trade Wales / Cymru Masnach Deg 

Sandra Golding, CEO, Feed the Minds 

Saul Billingsley, Executive Director, FIA Foundation 

Rachel Lindley, CEO, Five Talents 

Paul Cornelius, CEO, Food for the Hungry UK 

Ziggy Garewal, UK Representative, Friends of ACTED UK 

Michael Deriaz, Chairman, Friends of Kipkelion 

Jessica Woodroffe, Director, Gender & Development Network 

Dr Joel C. Gill, Executive Director, Geology for Global Development 

Marie Rumsby, UK Country Director, Global Citizen 

Mike Davis, CEO, Global Witness 

Hyejoung Yang, Director, Good Neighbours UK 

Martin Drewry, CEO, Health Poverty Action 

Justin Derbyshire, CEO, HelpAge International 

Mark Waddington, CEO, Hope and Homes for Children 

Carwyn Hill, CEO, Hope Health Action  

Claire O’Shea, Head of Partnership, Hub Cymru Africa 

Dr Mohamed Ashmawey, CEO, Human Appeal 

George Graham, Chief Executive, Humanity & Inclusion UK  

Christine Sow, CEO and President, Humentum 

Professor Melissa Leach, Director, Institute of Development Studies  

Jasmina Haynes, CEO, Integrity Action 

Professor Tom Potokar, Director, Interburns 

Kathryn Tomlinson and Senait Fassil, Interim Co-Executive Directors, International Alert 

Adele Paterson, CEO, International Health Partners 

Andrew Norton, Director, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) 

John Reynolds, CEO, International Nepal Fellowship 

John Young, Executive Director, International Network for Advancing Science and Policy (INASP) 

Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General, International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) 

Melanie Ward, Interim UK Executive Director, International Rescue Committee 

Jodie Ginsberg, CEO, Internews Europe 

Tufail Hussain, Interim CEO, Islamic Relief Worldwide 

Fiona Bristow, Director, Kanaama Interactive Community Support 

Tom Kingsley, National Director, Light for the World UK 

Fiona Greig, CEO, Link Education International 

Julian Page, Director, Livingstone Tanzania Trust 

Professor Claire Heffernan, Director, London International Development Centre 

Maria Spink, Founder and CEO, Lyra in Africa 

Charles Nelson, Chief Executive, Malaria Consortium  

Julian Watson, Director, Mbedza Projects Support 

Dr Aimee Shalan, Chief Executive, Medical Aid for Palestinians 

Vinny Smith, Chief Executive, Meningitis Research Foundation 

Alexandra Angulo, Interim Executive Director, Mercy Corps 

Darren Cormack, CEO, Mines Advisory Group (MAG)  

Claire Thomas, Deputy Director, Minority Rights Group International 

Simon Cooke, CEO, MSI Reproductive Choices 

Hamid H Azad, CEO, Muntada Aid  

Kashif Shabir, CEO, Muslim Aid UK 

Irfan Khan, Director of Humanitarian and International Partnerships, Muslim Hands  

Annabel Harris, CEO, Network for Africa 

Martin Hartberg, UK Director, Norwegian Refugee Council  

Fiona Gorton, Resources and Finance Officer, Omega Research Foundation 

Sam Bickersteth, Chief Executive, Opportunity International United Kingdom 

Grethe Petersen, CEO, Orchid Project 

Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah, Chief Executive, Oxfam Great Britain 

Dylan Mathews, Chief Executive, Peace Direct 

Dr Keith Tyrell, Director, Pesticide Action Network UK 

Tom Edwards, Director, PHASE Worldwide  

Rose Caldwell, CEO, Plan International UK  

Jake Criswick , CEO, Play It Forward 

Robin Maynard, Director, Population Matters 

Sarah Roberts, CEO, Practical Action 

Kate Garvey and Gail Gallie, Co-Founders, Project Everyone 

Terina Keene, Group Chief Executive, Railway Children 

Joe Eisen, Executive Director, Rainforest Foundation UK 

Julian Olivier, Chief Executive, Raleigh International 

Ian Shapiro, CEO, Reall 

Perry Maddox, CEO, Restless Development 

Aaron Oxley, Executive Director, RESULTS UK 

Christopher Williams, Chairman, RTpay 

Erica Belanger, Executive Director, SafeHands 

Paul Murphy, Executive Director, Saferworld 

Kevin Watkins, Chief Executive, Save the Children 

Alistair Dutton, CEO, SCIAF  

Elizabeth Nelson, UK Director, Search for Common Ground 

Hollie Warren, Chair, Send My Friend to School 

Patricia Alexander, Managing Director, Shared Interest Foundation 

Simon O’Connell, CEO, SNV Netherlands Development Organisation  

John Keane, CEO, SolarAid 

Calvin Laing, Acting Executive Director, Stakeholder Democracy Network (SDN) 

Christina Bennett, CEO, Start Network  

Girish Menon, CEO, STiR Education 

Fadhili Maghiya, Director, Sub-Sahara Advisory Panel 

Frances Hill, Chair, Board of Trustees, SWIDN 

Charlie Gamble, CEO, TackleAfrica 

Nik Kafka, CEO, Teach A Man To Fish 

Anita Lowenstein Dent, CEO, Teach2Teach International 

Nigel Harris, Chief Executive, Tearfund 

Alexander Knapp, CEO, The AKCGlobal Group 

Nicholas Grono, CEO, The Freedom Fund  

Major General James Cowan CBE DSO, CEO, The HALO Trust 

Shona Lockyer, Trustee, The Kambia Appeal 

Peter Waddup, National Director, The Leprosy Mission England & Wales 

Christina Longden, Director, The Lorna Young Foundation 

Simon Bishop, CEO, The Power of Nutrition 

Justin van Fleet, President, Theirworld 

Philippa Carrick, CEO, Tibet Relief Fund 

Sarah Ingleby, Chief Executive, Tools for Self Reliance 

Lynne Morris, CEO, Toybox  

Frances O'Grady, General Secretary, Trades Union Congress 

Charlotte Timson, CEO, Traidcraft Exchange 

Ben Simms, Chief Executive, Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET) 

Clare Wearden, Director, Village Water 

Philip Goodwin, Chief Executive, VSO International 

Dr Kathrin Thomas, Chair, Wales and Africa Health Links Network 

Rob Williams OBE, CEO, War Child UK 

Asad Rehman, Executive Director, War on Want 

Ceris Turner-Bailes, CEO, WasteAid 

Nick Hepworth, PhD, Executive Director, Water Witness International 

Timothy John Wainwright, Chief Executive, WaterAid  

Caroline Qutteneh, Director, Welfare Association 

Dr Antony Kingsley, CEO, WellFound  

Susie Ventris-Field, Chief Executive, Welsh Centre for International Affairs 

Dinah Musindarwezo, Director of Policy and Communications, Womankind Worldwide 

Jon Rosser, Chief Executive, World Child Cancer 

Julian Gore-Booth, CEO, World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists 

Paul Anticoni, Chief Executive, World Jewish Relief 

Mark Sheard, CEO, World Vision UK 

Ian Wishart, CEO, The Fred Hollows Foundation 

Sheniz Tan, CEO, Asfar CIC  

Mark Galloway, Executive Director, International Broadcasting Trust 

Nicola Chevis, CEO, Vision Aid Overseas 

Christine Stegling, Executive Director, Frontline AIDS 

Paul Lindoewood, General Secretary, Disability in Wales and Africa 

Romilly Greenhill, UK Director, ONE Campaign 

Christine Allen, Director, CAFOD

Gary Forster, CEO, Publish What You Fund 

Ognjen Radosavljevic, Managing Director, International Medical Corps UK 

Ann Pretorius, CEO, Joint Aid Management

Lysa John, Secretary-General, CIVICUS

Mr Bijay Kumar, Executive Director, Global Network of Civil Society Organisations for Disaster Reduction (GNDR)

Justin Dowds, CEO, Compassion UK

Brita Fernandez Schmidt, Executive Director, Women for Women International – UK

Shaun Spiers, Executive Director, Green Alliance 

Mike Podmore, Director, STOPAIDS

Jenny Hodgson, Executive Director, Global Fund for Community Foundations

Jo Ashbridge, CEO, AzuKo

Catherine McCarthy, Chief Executive, Medical Aid Films 

Peter Anderson, Chair, CADA NI  

Sarah Blakemore, Chief Executive, Keeping Children Safe  

Jill Healey, Executive Director, ChildHope 

Miles Litvinoff, Director, Publish What You Pay UK 

Dr Stephen R Connor, Executive Director, Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance 

Helen Veitch, Director, Children Unite 

Matthew Owen, Director, Cool Earth 

Lucy Philipson, CEO, COCO (Comrades of Children Overseas) 

Simon Ray, Chair of the Board of Trustees, HealthProm

Dr John McConnell, Managing Trustee, Scholarships for Street Kids 

David Evans, Country Director, Ace Africa UK 

Dr. Husna Ahmad OBE, CEO, Global One 2015 

Michael Gidney, CEO, The Fairtrade Foundation 

Mitchell Payne, International Programmes Manager, Signal 

Peter Marlow, Director, Project Managers Against Poverty 

Quinn McKew, Executive Director, ARTICLE 19 

Paul Stuart, CEO, Send a Cow

Alison Wallace, CEO, SOS Children's Villages UK  

Jo Hook, Managing Director, Temwa

Caoimhe de Barra, CEO, Trócaire 

Elizabeth Winter, Executive Director, British & Irish Agencies Afghanistan Group (BAAG) 

Dr Nabeel Al Ramadhani, President, Human Relief Foundation (HRF)

Othman Moqbel, CEO, Syria Relief

Henry Pomeroy, Director, CHASE Africa 

Mikey Rosato, CEO, Women and Children First

Julia Misselbrook, Country Director, Digital Opportunity Trust UK

Charles Davy, Managing Director, Afghanaid

Linda Edwards, CEO (Interim), United Purpose

Dr Adrian C Brown, Chair, Maternity Worldwide

Parmi Dheensa, Executive Director, Include Me TOO