In light of the announcement of £2.9 billion worth of cuts to the UK's Official Development Assistance (ODA), Danny Harvey, Executive Director of Concern Worldwide (UK), said:
“The coronavirus pandemic has had a profound impact on the UK economy – but we are not alone in suffering the economic impacts of Covid-19. We know it is having a devastating impact on the world’s most vulnerable people, especially in fragile countries that are already experiencing other crises, including conflict and the effects of climate change. As a result, this year we could see an additional 40 - 60 million people pushed into extreme poverty and a doubling of the number of people facing severe food insecurity.
We understand these circumstances have led to an inevitable fall in the UK aid budget. But, with global poverty and humanitarian need set to soar, this budget must now be deliberately focused on reaching those who need it most and delivering the greatest impact for the world’s poorest people.
This means maintaining support for crucial areas such as humanitarian aid, health and nutrition, education, social protection and building community resilience to conflict and climate change.
It also means refusing to shy away from areas where delivering aid can be most challenging. On current trends, 80% of the extreme poor are expected to live in fragile states by 2030. We therefore welcome the commitment to poverty reduction for the bottom billion and, as more details emerge of where these cuts will fall, we hope to see evidence that the UK remains committed to leaving no-one behind.”
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