We celebrate the ambitions in FCDO’s White Paper, but they must be matched with adequate resources to reach the most marginalised, says CARE International UK’s Head of Advocacy and Policy, Dorothy Sang
There is a lot to applaud in the FCDO’s new White Paper released yesterday. It presents an ambitious framework for UK international development and humanitarian work to refocus efforts on the lowest income countries and communities, who remain the most vulnerable to the effects of conflict and climate change.
CARE International UK believes focusing on locally-led development and long-term partnerships, in particular with women-led organisations, is the best way to deliver change. The £1bn commitment to humanitarian response plus a resilience and adaptation fund is a welcome step towards that goal, and we stand ready to work with the FCDO to ensure those commitments designed to achieve the White Paper’s ambition of giving communities at the sharp-end of crises more control.
The White Paper acknowledges that women and girls are vital for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, locally-led adaptation and a green transition but should go further to reiterate the International Women and Girls’ Strategy commitment that climate finance will increasingly integrate gender equality objectives for gender-just climate action.
The real test will be whether the ambitions in the paper are resourced with adequate funding, including new, additional climate finance to meet the outlined challenges, rather than recycling old commitments. It is difficult to see how the UK can achieve these ambitious aims without increasing the UK aid budget, as well as funding for programming for women and girls, which has been cut by almost £2.5bn in recent years.
Amidst the polycrises of COVID, conflict, and climate change, the urgency for the UK's leadership to address the alarming rollback in women's rights worldwide could not be more pronounced.