Changes to how aid is delivered
The strategy also outlines a change to how it delivers the majority of its aid in order to better align it with UK priorities. This includes slashing the money it gives to multi-national organisations, such as the United Nations and the World Bank, by almost half.
International organisations, such as the United Nations, have established relationships with governments, local organisations and people – meaning that help can reach those most in need quickly and efficiently.
There is concern that this change could lead to aid being slower to arrive after emergencies, such as typhoons, hurricanes and war.
The strategy lists women and girls, climate change and improving global health as priority areas for the UK Government’s aid spending. Tearfund welcomes the prioritisation of these issues, but changing the way the aid is delivered could divert money away from life-saving programmes in these key areas that are already working well.
Aid budget is not being restored yet
The strategy does not commit to a set date for when the UK will restore its aid budget to 0.7 per cent of its national income. The UK cannot claim to be stepping up its development work if the aid budget remains at 0.5 per cent of national income.
The Covid-19 pandemic and the climate crisis are pushing millions of people further into poverty. Yemen and the Horn of Africa remain on the brink of famine. We cannot turn our backs now on the world’s poorest people – they need our help more than ever.
The UK must not shirk its responsibilities now. UK aid has been crucial in transforming communities and saving lives in some of the poorest and hardest to reach places in the world. It is estimated that UK aid saves a life every two minutes. Restoring the UK’s aid budget will mean we can honour our commitment to the world’s poorest people.
What is Tearfund doing?
‘Supporting people in need should not be conditional on what they can do for us, but based on how we can help them to overcome poverty and the challenges they face,’ shares Paul Cook, who leads Tearfund’s advocacy work.
‘Tearfund has joined with other leading charities to ask the UK Government to rethink its strategy of tying aid so closely with trade and to urgently restore the UK’s aid budget to 0.7 per cent.
‘The UK must not turn its back on the world’s poorest people. We are called by Jesus to love our neighbours and to care for the vulnerable. The UK’s aid budget is a way we can show this love practically to those in need.’