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BASW UK writes to Foreign Secretary on overseas aid

Cutting overseas aid at such a crisis point for humanity is a mistake and will make the journey to pandemic recovery even more difficult for the world’s poorest.

In response to the Government cutting the overseas aid budget from 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI) to 0.5% despite significant opposition from many of its own Conservative MPs, BASW UK Chief Executive Dr Ruth Allen has written to the Foreign Secretary asking that the Government reconsider this decision.

 

BASW CEO Ruth Allen

In the letter, Ruth said:

Social work is an international profession, with social workers all over the world working in areas such as health, education, support, and disaster relief. Social workers have been on the frontline against COVID-19, are on the ground in the aftermath of natural disasters, and work with communities in developing countries. BASW UK committed £60k to supporting grassroot organisations in 8 countries including Palestine and Malawi. Therefore, we were dismayed to learn that the Government has backtracked on the commitment made in the 2019 Conservative manifesto to keep overseas aid at 0.7 of GNI.

“The world has changed drastically since December 2019 when that pledge was made – and not for the better. COVID-19 has taken lives across the world, devasted families and communities, and hit economies. Cutting overseas aid at such a crisis point for humanity is a mistake and will make the journey to pandemic recovery even more difficult for the world’s poorest. This risks undermining our efforts to recover from the pandemic in the UK including the rebuilding of our economy. No one will be safe from this – and any future – pandemic until global health and prevention improves.”

We will update members when we receive a response from the Foreign Office.