Despite the cut, the Government will retain its commitment to spending at least 0.7 percent of Gross National Income (GNI) on international aid. Th
Despite the cut, the Government will retain its commitment to spending at least 0.7 percent of Gross National Income (GNI) on international aid. The cut to the foreign aid budget comes in response to the coronavirus pandemic, as the UK’s economy is expected to contract. At present, the UK is the only G7 country to meet the spending target which was set as a goal by the United Nations in the 1970s.
The announcement of the cut comes after the Government committed last month to merging the Department for International Development with the Foreign Office.
Speaking in the House of Commons at the time, the Prime Minister said merging the two departments would allow the UK to focus on giving aid in line with the country’s international interests.
Mr Raab has confirmed that along with the cut in spending, later this year the Government will launch a review to “look at how our aid budget can be used most effectively in our national interest”.
Mr Raab said: “The coming months will doubtless bring with them a number of financial challenges, so I am writing to update you on the Government’s plans on how we will ensure we continue to meet our 0.7 percent Gross National Income (GNI) spending commitment for Official Development Assistance (ODA).
“Given the likely decrease in the size of the economy this year, the Prime Minister asked me to identify the changes needed to ensure we meet, but do not exceed the 0.7% commitment.
“As this commitment is based on our GNI, when the economy shrinks, our ODA spend also reduces.”
More to follow…