27 October 2021

Stephanie Draper, CEO of Bond the UK network for organisations working in development said:      

“Despite the Chancellor’s commitment to getting back to 0.7% of GNI spent on UK aid in 2024, what matters is what the Treasury is doing to ensure the UK shows up in the world right now. It now looks certain that the Treasury will use accountancy trickery to make the aid budget pay for re-channelling Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), excess vaccine doses and debt relief, so the government is once again balancing the books on the backs of the poorest and jeopardising trust in the UK around the world. There will be even less funding for humanitarian and development programmes and potentially a third round of cuts to life-saving work.”

“With such strong messages about the strength of our economy, it’s sad that the Chancellor can’t be as generous as the British public towards those suffering the most from the pandemic and climate change. This makes the UK’s standing in addressing global inequality even more questionable, whilst severely undermining crucial COP26 negotiations.”

Notes to editor  

  1. Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) are a currency unit created by the IMF which sit in member countries’ reserves. They can free up other funds or be exchanged for hard currency ($, £ etc.) to pay for things like imports. Bond believes that SDRs issued specifically to support Lower-Middle Income Countries to respond to and recover from the pandemic should be additional to the UK’s aid budget, rather than included in the aid budget. 
  2. Bond and other NGOs stated their concern over the weekend that more cuts to programmes are around the corner previous cuts take hold and programmes close: https://www.bond.org.uk/press-releases/2021/10/ngos-fear-more-cuts-to-lifesaving-aid-programmes-around-the-world-are-on-the 
  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]