7 June 2021
The Muslim Council of Britain is urging our government to reverse its decision to reduce international aid spending which is currently set at 0.7% of GDP. The decision would risk jeopardising the British response to COVID-19 and the UK turning its back on some of the world’s poorest people.
Given the historical commitment of the UK in supporting the world’s poorest countries through international aid, the current cuts could affect the lives of thousands of people in the developing world when other G7 countries have increased their commitment due to the threat of COVID-19. The cut to 0.5% of Gross National Income will lag the UK behind their G7 counterparts just as our country takes over the presidency of the G7 group of nations in 2021. Our Prime Minister wishes to unite the world’s top economic performing countries at the G7 Summit to help the world fight and then build back better from coronavirus and create a greener, more prosperous future. Yet, reducing or even removing the foreign aid budget is a contradiction in itself.
Zara Mohammed, the MCB Secretary General said: “At a time when COVID-19 has crippled many parts of the world, it is both our collective duty and a humanitarian obligation to act and ensure aid gets to those most in need of it. The aid reduction by our Government will have devastating consequences on people across the world. This is a time when we need to continue to offer support and stability to those in circumstances far dire to our own. This is certainly a defining time for global leadership in the pursuit of a better world for all. I call upon our government to deliver its commitments to international development and reverse plans for the reduction to aid.”
Image credit: DFID / Rich Taylor