Reaction to Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs statement cutting the Overseas Development Aid budget

Overseas Development Aid saves lives. It is a commitment and a responsibility we must never back away from. That is why today’s announcement by the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs is a devastating blow to the world’s poorest.

After centuries of benefitting from the extraction of wealth through colonisation, from carbon-intensive and nature-wrecking development, it is incumbent on high-income countries like ours to shoulder our responsibility, so we are all able to achieve a sustainable and just future.

Wales has a tradition of global solidarity that it should be proud of. Leading Welsh charity Interburns is just one example of the life-saving work that the UK’s aid budget supports where, through its work with partners, has demonstrated tangible and measurable improvements across all supported burns services in low and middle-income countries.

Wales and the UK are proud of the life-saving work this money is used for. In 2015, the then Coalition Government enacted into law the commitment to allocate 0.7% of GNI to overseas development aid.

“We will proudly maintain our commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of GNI on development, and do more to help countries receiving aid become self-sufficient” – that is what the UK government promised to the people only 16 months ago. Today, that proud promise is broken.

This year in the thick of a global pandemic and a climate emergency,  the UK Government is hosting both the G7 and COP26 summits. They must take this opportunity to demonstrate global leadership by stepping forward and committing to urgent measures and overseas development aid, ensuring the world’s poorest and future generations are able to achieve equality.

Claire O’Shea, Co-Chair of the Wales Overseas Agencies Group (WOAG) said:

“The Wales Overseas Agencies Group has sought assurance from the Secretary of State for Wales that this is a temporary reduction. The short term impact on lives will be devastating, however, the sector and the people who depend on this support need a clear roadmap back to our commitment of 0.7% of GNI.

“We call on the UK  Government to make clear the ‘threshold’ at which the UK will return to its manifesto promise of 0.7% Overseas Development Aid.”

Notes to the editor

  • For interviews in Welsh or English, please contact:

Peter Frederick Gilbey, Communications Manager
petergilbey@hubcymruafrica.org.uk

  • Members of the Wales Overseas Agencies Group:

Cafod

Christian Aid

DEC Cymru

Disability in Wales & Africa

Oxfam Cymru

Red Cross

Save the Children

Size of Wales

Tearfund

UP

Wales Centre for International Affairs

Hub Cymru Africa