UK Aid Cuts ‘Huge Blow’ for Millions in Conflict Zones

The UK government has announced its Official Development Assistance (ODA) budget for 2021-22. The budget includes an overall cut to aid by nearly 30% (from 0.7 to 0.5% of GDP) and a reduction of more than 40% in the humanitarian aid budget (from £1536m in 2019 to £906m), in a time of growing need.

Alexandra Angulo, Executive Director at Mercy Corps says:

“The aid cuts fly in the face of the UK’s historic commitment to protect the most vulnerable, particularly in places affected by war and instability. This is a huge blow for millions of people around the world dealing with the combined impacts of conflict, climate change and Covid-19. One in every 33 people worldwide needs humanitarian assistance to survive. At a time when humanitarian aid has never been more needed, it is being ripped away.

“While the commitment to international climate finance is welcome, we must ensure that support reaches those communities living on the frontlines of the climate crisis and dealing with its biggest impacts. The aid cuts will make this even more challenging.

“Over the years, UK aid has supported millions of people not only to survive in times of crisis but to lead more peaceful and prosperous lives. For example in Africa, we have seen significant progress with the support of UK funding. From providing water to hundreds of thousands of people in eastern DRC to supporting girls’ education in war-torn parts of Nigeria - these have made a huge contribution to building a more stable and prosperous continent.

“We urge the UK government not to abandon these people at this critical time, and to recommit to providing support where it’s needed most.”