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 girls’ education 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
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
Harm from head blows is clear
I’m no doctor, but I’m hugely frustrated that it has taken more than 100 years for the medical profession and sporting bodies to wake up to the realisation that repeated blows to the head, whether from heading a ball or being punched in the head, can lead to brain damage! Do we really need studies to confirm the patently obvious?