Sightsavers reacts to publication of Equalities Impact Assessment

August 2023

The recent Equality Impact Assessment, published by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), shows the devastating and wide-ranging impact of the cuts to the UK’s official development assistance on the most marginalised people, including people with disabilities.

The cuts are undermining the ambition of the FCDO’s own Disability Inclusion and Rights strategy. Despite repeated commitments on the prioritisation of women and girls, this assessment shows significant cuts across areas that are critical to securing their rights. The UK committed to leave no one behind, but is doing exactly that – so is failing people with disabilities and those living in the world’s poorest communities.

Given budgets will increase next year, it is critical that allocations are made in a way that considers how to reach the most marginalised people, and that steps are taken to accelerate a return to spending 0.7% of gross national income on development assistance.

What is particularly concerning is that these cuts are not even the full picture. They follow a series of previous cuts, and their impact is amplified from the knock-on effect.

While it is positive that the FCDO has published the Equalities Impact Assessment, something Sightsavers has called for previously, we are still concerned about the lack of programme-level data available and the impact this has on the government’s ability to assess the full impact of these cuts.

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