CARE International statement on today's budget announcement on UK Aid

London, 27 October 2021 -  CARE International is gravely disappointed in the UK government's decision, announced in today's budget, to break a key manifesto promise on UK Aid, letting down millions of the most vulnerable people in the world, particularly women and girls.

In response to today's budget announcement Laurie Lee, CEO of Care International UK, has released the following statement:      

Today, despite claiming that fiscal rules are on track, the Chancellor decided not to reverse cuts to the aid budget until at least 2024, despite the government’s legal obligation, manifesto promise, and moral duty to provide 70 pence in every £100 of UK national income to support the world’s poorest people and countries.  Over four years this will reduce international assistance by around £18bn, more than the entire aid budget for a whole year.

This is happening at a crucial time when the UK Government is in a pivotal position to lead renewed pledges that will advance gender equality and combat climate change for a more equal and sustainable world.  Three more years of cuts risks undermining negotiations to save the planet at the conference of a generation, COP26, in Glasgow starting on Monday. It also comes as developing countries are suffering the worst economic impacts of the Covid crisis.

These devastating cuts to the UK aid budget are disproportionately impacting women and girls, and will result in cancelling UK aid support for an estimated 20 million women and girls. They will no longer be helped with education, reproductive healthcare and rights, better nutrition, clean water and sanitation, and support when they are displaced by conflict or climate change.

The government must reinstate its aid commitments now, not in 2024, and it must rule out any more potential cuts to life saving work through accounting devices or more broken promises on vaccine sharing being additional to the aid budget.

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