UK spending review fails to reassure international community on aid cuts

Press release, 27 October 2021
Reacting to the spending review announced by UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak, IIED director Andrew Norton said:

“The chancellor has failed to reassure the international community that he is not planning to effectively make further cuts to UK overseas aid by classifying almost a third of any allocation of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) from the International Monetary Fund as part of the aid budget.

“The UK is alone among G20 nations in failing to pass on the full benefit of the SDRs, in addition to existing aid commitments, to lower income countries who are struggling to recover from the economic chaos unleashed by COVID-19 and who are already suffering the devastating effects of climate change.

“Coming on top of the decision to slash the aid budget from 0.7% to 0.5% in the midst of a global pandemic, it seems the hosts of the crucial COP26 climate talks are setting themselves up to fail by throwing away any moral authority they might have had to hold others to account and achieve the climate finance pledges necessary to address the climate crisis we all face.”

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