London, UK, June 7, 2021 — Melanie Ward, UK Executive Director at the International Rescue Committee, said:
“Although MPs didn’t get a chance to vote on the 0.7% amendment today, it is clear that there is a strong cross-party consensus that these deeply damaging aid cuts should be immediately reversed. This issue is not going away.
The timing of these cuts couldn’t be worse. Humanitarian need is skyrocketing.The UK is planning to spend 40% less on humanitarian aid than before the pandemic, at a time when humanitarian need is 40% higher and 270 million people are facing acute levels of hunger.
The longer the government persists with aid cuts, the more people will die. Turning our back on people struggling to survive in war zones should not be the calling card of ‘Global Britain’. Thousands have had support slashed and are being pushed further into hunger and catastrophic crisis. Over 30,000 Syrians living in poverty have already been cut off from economic support provided by UK-funded centres; 100,000 Rohingya refugees are losing access to clean water; and Yemenis are on the brink of famine as the UK cuts aid to the country by nearly 60%.
The aid cuts leave the UK increasingly isolated on the world stage, as it hosts the G7 leaders summit this week. The UK is an outlier as the only G7 country to cut aid spending and will fall behind as other leading wealthy countries increase their financial assistance. Boris Johnson should listen to the views of the House of Commons and of his own party, immediately reverse the aid cuts and restore UK aid spending to 0.7% of Gross National Income.”
The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and 29 U.S. cities helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future and strengthen their communities. Learn more at www.rescue-uk.org and follow the IRC on Twitter & Facebook.