This week has seen several important UK Government announcements on UK Aid spending and financial commitments to global health initiatives.
Ahead of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, the new Minister for Development, Andrew Mitchell, protected £1bn from the budget and committed it to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria - the multilateral financing initiative recognised for its critical role in the global fight to eradicate these diseases. This is far below the pledge amount requested by the Global Fund, and civil society reactions have rightly highlighted the issues that reduced budgets create in resource allocation to vital programming.
In his Autumn Statement, the Chancellor ruled out a return to the Conservatives’ manifesto commitment of 0.7% ODA. Instead, it is anticipated that the current levels of around 0.5% ODA will remain in place for around five years.
Commenting on these developments, Camilla Knox-Peebles, CEO, Amref Health Africa UK said:
“In these times of global crises, and with the rapidly escalating climate emergency impacting those who have contributed least, the right thing to do is to focus on the most vulnerable communities.
“The Chancellor emphasised this government’s compassionate approach. Compassionate leadership on sustainable development means: partnering with countries and coalitions to make progress on global health challenges; investing in sustainable community-led change; and committing to support the most marginalised people.
“The recent pledge to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria and additional funds to host refugees in the UK are welcome, as is the recent funding commitment to support the African countries on the frontline of climate change. Now the UK needs to do more to ensure it is living up to its commitment to the global community; to step up financial and political commitments to reflect the leadership role it should take on sustainable development. We need a clear roadmap back to 0.7% ODA.”