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Statement: UK aid cuts - ODI response

Written by Sara Pantuliano

Reacting to today’s announcement that the UK will cut its target for aid spending from 0.7% of gross national income to 0.5%, Sara Pantuliano, Chief Executive of the Overseas Development Institute, said:

“The UK government’s announcement today that it plans to cut Official Development Assistance is a serious error of judgment.

News of three promising Covid-19 vaccines have filled the world with hope. But the road to recovery and global reset remains arduous. Beyond the devastating human costs of the pandemic, years of progress towards reducing poverty have been wiped out. Analysis suggests the financing gap to achieve the Global Goals has increased by 70% [OECD figures].

It is hard to reconcile these cuts with Global Britain and the UK's imminent presidencies of the G7 and UN climate summits. They risk undermining the government's international standing when the UK will be rightly calling on other countries to raise ambition.

But the government has an opportunity to course-correct before 2021. It should redeploy the £13 billion a year it spends on fossil fuel subsidies to plug any development funding gap and provide much needed climate-compatible aid.”