Malala warns PM over foreign aid spending cut

Sam Blewett, PA Deputy Political Editor
·1-min read

Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai has warned Boris Johnson he could fail to meet his target on girls’ education if he does not restore foreign aid spending.

The Prime Minister has faced sustained criticism for shelving his manifesto commitment to maintain spending at 0.7% of national income.

Instead he cut it to 0.5%, citing the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis.

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Ms Yousafzai, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 for her work campaigning for girls to have a universal right to education, said she discussed aid spending with Mr Johnson on Friday morning.

The Pakistani human rights activist tweeted “I applaud his dedication to girls’ education” but said she is “concerned” over aid spending.

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She said Mr Johnson will not reach his goal of getting 40 million more girls into school around the world by 2025 “unless the U.K. recommits 0.7% of national income to aid”.

The activist also said the PM would need to pledge £600 million to the Global Partnership for Education to meet the target.