Why government cuts to clean water projects are doubly short-sighted

What is truly baffling is the timing, coming six months before the UK government is to host the Cop26 climate summit, writes Myriam Sidibe

Sunday 02 May 2021 15:06
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<p>Washing our hands has become particularly important during the Covid-19 pandemic</p>

Washing our hands has become particularly important during the Covid-19 pandemic

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arlier this week, a leaked ministerial briefing from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) revealed the first details of the plans to cut the bilateral foreign aid budget.

We discovered that the UK government is looking to reduce bilateral aid to national governments to fund water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) from £150m in pre-pandemic 2019 to £30m. That’s a drop of 80 per cent.

For years we have made the case to the UK government that having clean water, a decent toilet and being able to practise hygiene is the foundation stone for development – it is almost impossible to escape extreme poverty without these basics. And Britain has long been a pioneer in WASH investment.

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