Foreign aid: Gates and others to partially cover UK aid cuts

2 months ago 30

By James Landale & Becky Morton
Diplomatic correspondent

image copyrightGetty Images

image captionProjects providing household readying services volition beryllium among those to payment from the impermanent funding

A radical of philanthropists, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, are to supply £93.5m exigency backing to screen immoderate UK overseas assistance cuts.

They said the impermanent backing would assistance prevention "critical projects" and guarantee advancement was not "wasted".

The authorities has decided to trim this year's spending connected overseas assistance from 0.7% of nationalist income to 0.5%.

It said the fiscal interaction of the pandemic had forced ministers to instrumentality "tough but indispensable decisions".

The group, which besides includes the Children's Investment Fund Foundation, the ELMA Foundation and Open Society Foundations, said the exigency funds would assistance projects tackling preventable diseases and providing household readying and intersexual wellness services.

They said it would forestall life-saving drugs from being thrown distant due to the fact that they walk their expiry date, and guarantee women surviving successful the poorest parts of the satellite are capable to debar unplanned pregnancies.

The UN's household readying bureau (UNFPA) looks acceptable to suffer immoderate 85% of its backing from the UK, a driblet of astir £130m.

A spokeswoman for the funder consortium, Kate Hampton, main enforcement of the Children's Investment Fund Foundation, said: "These life-saving treatments are cost-effective investments. If they spell unfunded this year, British payer generosity volition beryllium wasted arsenic clinics are closed and indispensable drugs expire and are thrown away."

The exigency backing was welcomed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who said it was "desperately needed".

However, helium called connected the authorities to reconstruct its committedness to walk 0.7% of nationalist income connected overseas aid.

Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat, president of the Commons overseas affairs committee, said: "When Britain withdraws, others measurement in. By cutting our aid, we person fixed states specified arsenic China and Russia an accidental to grow their power astatine Britain's expense."

Charities including Oxfam and ActionAid person criticised the cuts - which magnitude to astir £4bn a twelvemonth - warning that they person already forced projects to beryllium cancelled.

Many Tory MPs person besides spoken retired against the move, which went against the pledge successful the 2019 Conservative predetermination manifesto to instrumentality to the 0.7% figure.

But Chancellor Rishi Sunak has antecedently said it was hard to "justify" the committedness with the UK facing grounds borrowing, and with a nationalist indebtedness of good implicit £2 trillion.

A authorities spokesperson said: "The UK volition walk much than £10bn to amended planetary health, combat poorness and tackle clime alteration this twelvemonth - making america 1 of the biggest assistance donors successful the G7."

"We person ever been wide that the authorities volition instrumentality to spending 0.7% of GNI [gross nationalist income] connected planetary improvement arsenic soon arsenic the fiscal concern allows," the spokesperson added.

Read Entire Article