The Reader: Dominic Raab needs a rethink on huge cut to foreign aid

·2-min read
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab (PA Wire)
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab (PA Wire)

The Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab let the cat out of the bag to the Lords’ international relations and defence committee this week by admitting that he is cutting the UK aid budget for girlseducation by more than 40 per cent, and reducing UK bilateral aid to Africa to a third of what it was two years ago.

The Africa bilateral development programme is only £764 million in 2021. The Official Development Assistance (ODA) was £3 billion in 2019, making this a 69 to 75 per cent cut on 2019 (depending on whether any non-FCDO ODA will go to Africa). As your editorial noted on Tuesday, we should not abandon the global poor, many of whom are African. The Government must urgently think again.

Dr Alex Vines

Editor’s reply

Dear Dr Alex

The revelations about foreign aid cuts have been very worrying. The Government is to slash funding for water and hygiene projects in developing nations by more than 80 per cent, according to a leaked memo. This morning it was also revealed that it will cut 85 per cent of funding pledged to the UN global family planning programme, which will have a devastating effect on women and girls in the poorest countries. When most other G7 countries will come to the June summit increasing their aid commitments, this decision seems to be a grave unforced error.

Emma Loffhagen, Comment writer

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