Commenting in response to news that the Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced he will intentionally cut around £4 billion from the UK aid budget next year as part of the Spending Review, ActionAid UK's CEO Girish Menon said:
“The reality is that tens of thousands of lives could be lost as a result of these cuts. The cuts will be felt hugely by the world's poorest but will make very little difference to the public purse as they are equal to just 0.2% of UK income. The UK Government is not doing the right thing.
“It is critical that this slashing of the aid budget is not long-term or permanent. We’re very alarmed about the impact on people who are most in need – especially women and girls who have been disproportionately impacted by Covid-19. As well as leaving millions without work, the pandemic has caused a global surge in violence against women and girls.
“It is vital, now more than ever, that UK Aid protects the hard-fought rights of women and girls and is spent effectively. The Government needs to adequately support women’s rights organisations which have local expertise and influence, and are best placed to address the needs of those in their communities.
“2021 should have been a year of UK-led global cooperation to tackle Covid-19, prevent gender-based violence and step up the fight against climate change. Instead, the Government is retreating from being a force for good on the world stage and is turning its back on those most in need.”
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