DSA statement on UK aid reduction
The UK government’s proposal to reduce our UK aid budget from 0.7% to 0.5% of gross national income represents a betrayal of our longstanding commitment to the world’s poorest people.
The timing is abysmal. The pandemic is reversing decades of progress in reducing global poverty and this cut would deny the world’s poorest people of over £4 billion of what has been amongst the world’s best-targeted package of aid spending. Now is the time – amidst the threats of pandemic and climate change – to signal a renewed commitment to the international cooperation required to deal with these fundamentally global problems. Throwing the UK’s full weight behind efforts to reduce poverty, share vaccines widely and address climate change is not just the right thing to do: it is clearly also in the national self-interest. Instead, this cut diminishes the prospects of meeting the SDGs and diminishes our legitimacy to play a leading role in these processes, including with regards to convening G7 and COP26 next year.
We are deeply concerned by the announcement of such far-reaching decisions before the conclusion of the UK Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Foreign Policy and Development. This suggests that decisions are being taken on narrow political grounds with insufficient public deliberation and reference to evidence.
The Development Studies Association urges the government to reconsider this punitive cut to UK aid. It calls on MPs from all parties to oppose the legislation required for these cuts to be enacted. Successive governments – Labour, Conservative-Liberal Democrat and Conservative – have invested heavily in building the UK’s reputation as a global leader in international development, with real benefits for poverty reduction and our global standing. This government should not throw away these hard-won gains without a full and open discussion about how the UK can play a leading role in making the world a more just, safe and sustainable place.
Prof Sam Hickey, DSA President, Global Development Institute, University of Manchester
Prof Uma Kambhampati, DSA Secretary, Department of Economics, University of Reading
Prof Melissa Leach, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex
Prof Kathryn Hochstetler, Department of International Development, London School of Economics
Prof Khalid Nadvi, Global Development Institute, University of Manchester
Prof Zoe Marriage, Department of Development Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
Dr Elisa Van Waeyenberge & Dr Hannah Bargawi, Economics Department, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
Prof Diego Sánchez-Ancochea, Oxford Department of International Development, University of Oxford
Dr Jonathan Fisher, International Development Department, University of Birmingham
Prof Laura Camfield, School of International Development, University of East Anglia
Prof Michael Walls, The Bartlett Development Planning Unit, University College London
Prof Alfredo Saad-Filho and Prof Susan Fairley Murray, Department of International Development, King’s College London
Prof Philip N. Dearden, Centre for International Development and Training, University of Wolverhampton
Prof Vegard Iversen, Livelihoods and Institutions Department, Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich
Prof James Copestake, Centre for Development Studies, University of Bath
Prof PB Anand, Peace Studies and International Development, University of Bradford
Prof Dan Brockington and Prof Dorothea Kleine, Sheffield Institute of International Development (SIID), University of Sheffield
Prof Jean Grugel, Interdisciplinary Global Development Centre, University of York
Prof David McIlhatton, Centre for Trust Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University
Prof Alastair Ager, Institute for Global Health and Development, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh
Dr Namrata Bhattacharya-Mis, International Development Studies, University of Chester
Dr Mei Trueba, Global Health Department, Brighton and Sussex Medical School
Dr Grace Carswell, Head of International Development, University of Sussex
Dr Thomas Molony, Director, Centre of African Studies, University of Edinburgh