23 March 2022

In today’s spring statement, Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed the UK would be allocating £394million in humanitarian and development assistance to Ukraine following the devastating invasion from Russia. This money will be coming out of the already-reduced UK aid budget, which Sunak cut from 0.7 to 0.5 per cent of gross national income (GNI) last year, rather than being additional to the diminished pot.  

Simon Starling, Director of Policy, Advocacy and Research at Bond, said in response:
“The UK government’s allocation of £394m to the Ukraine crisis is welcome and mirrors the generosity of the UK public, but it would be ill-judged and morally wrong if our support came at the expense of other marginalised communities affected by extreme poverty, conflict and inequality. 

“The money we give to Ukraine – and all future crises – should be additional to the already-reduced UK aid budget, not taken from it, until the government meets its 0.7% commitment. Otherwise, we risk sabotaging our own efforts to assist people in crisis in countries such as Ethiopia, Afghanistan and Yemen. 

“The government must recognise the vital role UK aid plays in responding to today’s multiple crises and helping to prevent future ones by restoring the budget to 0.7% of GNI as soon as possible.”

ENDS

Notes to editor:

1. The UK has pledged £394m in ODA to support Ukraine. This includes:  

  • £220m humanitarian assistance - to save lives and protect vulnerable people inside the country and in the wider region.  
  • £100m economic support - to bolster the Ukrainian economy and reduce Ukraine’s reliance on Russian gas imports.  
  • £74m government financial support - for the Ukrainian government budget to mitigate financial pressures created by Russia’s unprovoked and illegal invasion.  

The UK’s humanitarian funding is in addition to our wider development and stabilisation:     

  • The UK’s existing £32m CSSF programme, focussed on stabilisation, supporting an inclusive peace, and preparing communities for the eventual reintegration of non-government-controlled areas once a political solution allows.    
  • Global funding to UN humanitarian agencies, totalling £261 million this year, some of which will now be used to provide essential support to the people of Ukraine

2. 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.

3. For further information or interviews please contact Juliet Conway on 07990518334 or [email protected]