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Chair comments on the FCDO global development white paper

21 November 2023

Chair's comment

The Chair of the International Development Committee, Sarah Champion MP, said:

“The scale of the development challenge facing the world, as set out in the White Paper, is enormous. The impact of the FCDO’s severe cuts to the aid budget has made this mountain even higher to climb, with the FCDO itself assessing that the most vulnerable have suffered as a consequence. We're going to be running to catch up with the impact of our own aid budget cuts, and I’m surprised to see no explicit mention of climate loss and damage with the serious questions that remain over climate and development finance.

"The Committee has noted and welcomed the incoming Foreign Secretary's previous commitment to a 0.7% of GNI aid budget but the funding gap is still the elephant in the room - the UK's ability to respond to humanitarian crises in areas of conflict and climate change have been seriously compromised, financially and politically.

"The Government clearly hopes private business and investment funds will fill the gap but the mechanisms for making this happen and indeed appetite in the private sector are less clear. We call again on the Government to press its leadership and legislative advantage home in debt-relief negotiations.

“The White Paper published today offers a welcome change of tone, with evidence-based ideas that offer hope of a real reset and refresh for the UK on the international development stage. It incorporates much of the Committee’s recent thinking and recommendations – especially welcome is the move to ensure that British International Investment will be required to spend a minimum of half of its annual investment in low-income countries, after the Committee reported concerns on over questionable investments without a clear poverty focus. This highly ambitious paper is obviously directed at achieving impact for years to come and my Committee looks forward to assisting Government to achieve its aims."

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