Libya to lose 63% of aid from the United Kingdom
In a massive overhaul of their spending budget on aid programs, the United Kingdom intends to cut aid to conflict-riddled and poorer countries by over 50%
According to leaked documents from the United Kingdom Foreign Office, Libya along with other conflict-riddled countries will lose more than 50% of all aid from the UK.
The document which was obtained by the British newspaper The Guardian revealed that the UK’s Foreign Office will reduce aid to Libya by 63%, Syria by 67%, Somalia by 60% and South Sudan by 59%.
These cuts are apart of the ministers’ decision to cut aid spending this year from the legal target of 0.7% of gross national income to 0.5%. The UK aid programme over two years is being cut from £15bn to £10bn.
The UK foreign office did not comment on the leaked figures but stated that the impact of the coronavirus pandemic has forced the UK to take on tough but necessary decisions.
It also added that they continue to figure out what this stands to mean for each aid program individually and many decisions have not been finalized yet.
The UN secretary-general, António Guterres, described the overall cut in the UN’s aid programme this year as “a death sentence”.
Preet Kaur Gill, shadow International Development Secretary, said that “this is a devastating reminder of the real-world impact the Government’s politically motivated decision to abandon its manifesto commitment on aid will have on the world’s most vulnerable people.”
“Cuts in support to countries during multiple humanitarian crises would cause devastation; leading to some of the world’s most vulnerable people to starve, stretched healthcare systems to collapse and access to clean water stripped away.”
“Make no mistake, people will die. Callous cuts like this signal a retreat from the world stage and will make us all less safe. This is not Global Britain.”
David Miliband, the president of the International Rescue Committee and a former Foreign Office minister, condemned the UK government’s decision, saying: “The phrase ‘global Britain’ rings hollow. As the UK prepares to host the G7, the reduction of assistance to Yemen is a stark warning of what is to come as the government delivers on widespread cuts across the entire UK aid portfolio.
“Make no mistake, as the UK abandons its commitment to 0.7%, it is simultaneously undermining its global reputation.”
Meanwhile, more than 100 UK charities have condemned the government’s decision to cut aid to Yemen.
The UK has pledged at least £87min aid, down from £160m in 2020 and £200m in 2019.
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