Tell Boris Johnson to stop hijacking the aid budget

On 25 November 2020, Rishi Sunak announced plans to cut the UK aid budget from 0.7% to 0.5% of gross national income for an indefinite period. Read our response.

These cuts, along with the abolition of the Department for International Development in September 2020, are part of a double attack on aid. The government is trying to reduce the aid budget on the one hand, while hijacking what's left to support British economic interests. This is taking us back to the ‘bad old days’ when aid was tied to contracts with British companies.

We need to stand up to this hijacking of the aid budget, every step of the way. 

Too much development funding already isn’t going where it is most needed. In recent years, we have reported on aid funding going to for-profit education projects, fossil fuel infrastructure and even defence projects. In January 2021 we reported on how the UK had invested half a billion pounds in private, for-profit healthcare in the global south in the past decade. This isn't about tackling poverty and inequality - it's about supporting big business and lining private pockets.

This is not development as we know it. The government’s aid plans are an ideologically-driven attempt to spread the logic of the market to every corner of the globe. British financial institutions are not the best placed organisations to judge how development funding should be spent. For “Global Britain” read: Empire 2.0. 

Please take action today by joining the campaign against the hijacking of the aid budget. 

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Since the 2016 EU Referendum, the Global Britain agenda promoted by successive Conservative governments has repurposed international development to suit the interests of big business and the City of London. 

Instead of reaching the most marginalised communities in the world, aid is being used to invest in things like private school chains, environmentally-damaging industries and upmarket, private healthcare companies. Not only do these investments have questionable development impact; they undermine efforts to tackle climate change, reduce inequalities and build strong public services in the global south. We need to stand up to this.

Photo: Kuhlmann/MSC/Wikimedia