DSA statement on proposed UK aid reduction

News | Posted on Friday 27 November 2020

IGDC supports The Development Studies Association's statement to the government to maintain the 0.7% commitment to aid spending.

Image: DfID worker checking supplies on an RAF C17 by Sgt Ralph Merry CC BY-ND 2.0

The news that the UK government is set to renege on its commitment to spending 0.7% of gross national income on foreign aid could not come at a worse time for the world’s poorest countries and people and for international cooperation more broadly.

The World Bank estimates that the COVID-19 pandemic will push an additional 88-115 million people into extreme poverty this year alone, rolling back years of progress that UK aid has helped contribute to. Whilst there is room for debate about the best way to set aid budgets, there are no grounds for breaking legal commitments or for turning our backs on countries and people at a time of great need.

Taken together with the parallel proposals to boost spending on national defence and to restrict employment within the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office to British nationals – a move that will greatly limit the talent pool from which to recruit and undermine FCDO’s ability to operate effectively in different contexts – this latest move suggests Britain is rapidly becoming a parochial rather than progressive presence in the world. The UK, with its reputation as a global leader on foreign aid and for scientific excellence in vaccine development and beyond, remains well-placed to play a leading role in both responding to the pandemic and helping to build a more equal, safer and sustainable global order.

The DSA urges the government to maintain the 0.7% commitment to aid spending, to playing a full role in supporting COVAX (the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools) to ensure that developing countries do not suffer from vaccine nationalism and to restate its commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals.

Signatories to the statement include the following people and departments:

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 Zoë Marriage Department of Development Studies, SOAS University of London

Dr Elisa Van Waeyenberge and Dr Hannah Bargawi Department of Economics, SOAS 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 James Copestake Centre for Development Studies, University of Bath

Prof Prathivadi Anand Peace studies and international development, University of Bradford

Prof Dan Brockington and Prof Dorothea Kleine Sheffield Institute for International Development, University of Sheffield

Prof Jean Grugel Interdisciplinary Global Development Centre, University of York

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

Contact us

Interdisciplinary Global Development Centre
igdc@york.ac.uk
01904 321042
Department of Politics, University of York, Heslington, York, YO10 5DD, UK
@York_IGDC

Contact us

Interdisciplinary Global Development Centre
igdc@york.ac.uk
01904 321042
Department of Politics, University of York, Heslington, York, YO10 5DD, UK
@York_IGDC