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Monday, May 03, 2021

Johnson's overseas aid cuts hitting the world's poorest children

The Independent reports on a warning by the United Nations children’s agency that the UK’s massive overseas aid cuts, will lead to the world’s poorest youngsters suffering the consequences.

They say that funding to Unicef will be slashed from £40m to just £16m. This is just the latest in a series of dramatic spending reductions on key projects that have sparked criticism around the world.

“We were hoping that these cuts would not fall on the shoulders of the world’s children,” said Joanna Rea, director of advocacy for Unicef in the UK.

“There is never a good time to cut support for children but doing so in the middle of a pandemic makes it much harder for children around the world,” she told Sky News.

The agency is “very worried” about expected further cuts to UK funding on specific areas such as access to water, sanitation and hygiene and education, Ms Rae said.

In an official statement, Unicef added: “We worry that children living in some of the world’s worst crises and conflicts will suffer the consequences.”

The criticism came as it emerged that vital coronavirus research, including a project tracking variants in India, has seen its funding reduced by up to 70 per cent.

Oliver Pybus, a professor of infectious disease at the University of Oxford, described the impact of that cut as “devastating”.

Among other cuts that have now been revealed – after being “hidden” from MPs – are:

* Humanitarian aid to war-torn Yemen – by 60 per cent from £197m to £87m

* Polio eradication – funding for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative down from £100m to just £5m

* Girls’ education funding – by 40 per cent compared with previous four years

* Sexual health programmes – the UN agency supplying contraceptives and medicines says it has lost 85 per cent of UK funding

* Malaria treatments – including a cut to research funding at Imperial College London

* Water and sanitation – funding for water, sanitation and hygiene projects expected to fall by more than 80 per cent

No wonder the government is doing its best to prevent a debate in the House of Commons on this illegal cut in overseas aid.
Johnson may argue that we need the money at home but it gives a lie to Global Britain (our influence in the World)It indicates to other countries that even 'soft power' as sold by Johnson is a sham. Our past reputation is in tatters.
In economic terms our GDP goes up and down and therefore the 0.7 goes up and down. To cut it to 0.5 not only takes away that 0.2 but the money that goes with it.
It opens up the risk of problems getting worse.Result over time MORE money is needed to eradicate the problems. They then cost more to get rid of.
There is an arguement that Johnson and his party 'look down' on those below them. Are thet showing that this is true?
I have just heard about the commissioning og a new royal ship at £200 million and here we are cutting overseas budget. It makes me angry.
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