Can we afford an erosion of good faith?
17 June 2021
Cutting the UK’s foreign aid budget by 0.2% of the national income might sound like a modest adjustment. It might even seem prudent in these challenging post-pandemic times. But, as the WHO has warned, the £4bn shortfall it will produce is likely to cost millions of lives among the world’s poorest, most vulnerable people.
At a time when other members of the G7 are increasing their overseas aid budgets, what damage will the UK’s decision to cut back have on its standing as one of the world’s richest, most progressive nations?
Anti-poverty campaigner Sir Bob Geldof said of the decision to cut back: “It doesn’t make any sense. It doesn’t make any sense economically, financially, politically, diplomatically, morally or in the humanitarian consequences of it.” Is he right? Might the UK rue its decision?