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26 Nov 20

PHASE Worldwide statement on reduction of Overseas Aid Budget announced in the Spending Review

Yesterday, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced a new spending plan until April 2021, with the intention of cutting overseas development aid from 0.7% of gross national income (GNI) to 0.5%.

These cuts will have a harmful impact for vulnerable people and remote communities in Nepal, at a time when communities are already reporting falls in household income and difficulties accessing essential food and medicine due to the Covid-19 pandemic. At a point in time when countries around the world are looking to the UK for leadership and compassion, the decision by the government represents a disappointing downturn in support.

At PHASE Worldwide, we believe that everyone, even in the remotest places in the world, should have access to primary healthcare, basic education, and livelihoods. Through ODA funding, we have delivered projects across Nepal such as our ongoing Covid-19 Rapid Response and our work improving maternal healthcare and tackling malnutrition in Humla and Mugu. The cuts announced by the government jeopardise our ability to deliver such projects in the future, which is damaging to the remote communities we support.

Tom Edwards, Director of PHASE Worldwide said, “Because ODA is linked to the UK’s GNI, we have already seen a reduction in the total amount of ODA available. By cutting the ODA budget further, tragically, more women will die in childbirth, levels of malnutrition will increase, and more people will suffer from hunger. This decision is shortsighted and damaging to some of the poorest and most vulnerable communities in the world.”

PHASE Worldwide urges the government to reconsider their proposal or outline a plan for reinstating 0.7% ODA from 2021, reaffirming their commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, and making sure that in Nepal and around the world, no one gets left behind.

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