Statement: Sightsavers’ response to UK aid reduction decision

July 2021
A long line of children queue to see an eye health worker.
Children line up to have their eyes screened for trachoma infections in Cote d'Ivoire.

In response to Conservative MPs voting to keep the budget for international development at 0.5% of national income, Dom Haslam, Sightsavers’ director of policy and programme strategy, said:

“Today, despite valiant efforts by those across the political spectrum to stand up for global solidarity, MPs have taken a step backwards and voted in favour of maintaining foreign aid cuts. The tests that the government have in place that set out when the UK will return to spending 0.7% of GNI on aid were not being met prior to the pandemic and today’s decision will mean aid will not return to 0.7% for the foreseeable future. This will have a devastating and long-term impact for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Progress to eliminate disease will be undone, patients left untreated, and some of the poorest and most marginalised communities around the world will be left without the support they need in the middle of a global pandemic.”

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