Should philanthropists really have to plug the funding gap left by the UK’s foreign aid cuts?

A group of philanthropic organisations said their own temporary funding would help save ‘critical projects’ and ensure progress around the globe was not ‘wasted’, writes Chris Stevenson

Monday 12 July 2021 00:00
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<p>The chancellor has defended the decision to temporarily cut overseas aid</p>

The chancellor has defended the decision to temporarily cut overseas aid

It is never a good look for a government when a group of philanthropists feel they have to step in to plug a gap in funding that you have created – but that is exactly what has happened over the issue of the overseas aid budget.

A group, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation and Open Society Foundations, have pledged £93.5m in funding to cover some of the cuts necessary after the government’s decision to reduce spending on foreign aid from 0.7 per cent of national income to 0.5 per cent. Ministers have said that decision was a result of the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and that funding would be restored at some point. Chancellor Rishi Sunak has previously said the commitment is hard to “justify” given the UK is facing record borrowing.

The group of philanthropic organisations said their own temporary funding would help save “critical projects” and ensure progress around the globe was not “wasted”.

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