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Chair comments on the Written Ministerial Statement on ODA allocations

21 April 2021

Commenting on the Written Ministerial Statement on ODA allocations, International Development Committee Chair, Sarah Champion MP, said:

“To sneak out a written statement at the end of the day, shows a lack of respect for both Parliament scrutinising these cuts and the aid organisations that are hearing about the spend for the first time only now.

“To say the statement is scant on detail is an understatement. Whilst we now have limited understanding on the areas the Government is prioritising for its shrinking aid pot, we are still awaiting guidance on country-by-country allocations. People’s lives are directly impacted by these decisions and it is shocking that they still don’t have clarity they need.

“While it is very welcome that funding for Africa will receive 50% of all UK bilateral ODA, it is disappointing that girls’ education – a priority for No.10 – is second lowest thematic area in the ODA allocations and very surprising that China is still receiving money.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the magnitude of the aid cuts. With our economy set to rebound sharply this year, the logic for the cuts to the world’s poorest is making less sense as time goes on. Developing nations are unlikely to rebound as quickly: they have some time of economic ruin to get through.

“Our Committee will now delve deeper into these figures and try to make sense what this means for the UK’s position as a development superpower – it certainly won’t be positive. When the Foreign Secretary appears before our Committee tomorrow morning we will be demanding answers on the aid cuts.”

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