Leading the way in International Development

March 21, 2021 2:00 PM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

4.5 million fewer children with adequate education, 5.6 million fewer children a year immunised, 100,000 more preventable deaths. This cannot be the legacy of the UK's development policy.

The Conservative Government has reneged on its manifesto pledge and cut spending on international aid from 0.7% to 0.5% of Gross National Income (GNI). That may sound like a small change, but the difference is billions of pounds in funding withheld from the countries that need it most, and thousands of lives are already being impacted

The UK's moral authority is going up in flames. This is not our Britain.

The Liberal Democrats believe in global solutions to global problems, and in the importance of international development to building a more peaceful, prosperous world, with the UK leading the way. So, today, we have passed a motion calling on the Government to renew their commitment to allocating 0.7% of GNI on development spending and to get their priorities right.

The motion also calls for a separate Department for International Development to be restored, guarantees that the Sustainable Development Goals will remain at the heart of UK international development policy and a renewed commitment to multilateralism and internationalism.

Between increasing food insecurity, stretched medical supplies and disrupted education - developing nations are facing a deadly combination of crises caused by the coronavirus pandemic. None of us are safe, until all of us are safe. It's that simple.

The UK can afford to spend 0.7% GNI on international development both when our economy is doing well, and when we are doing less well. Our commitment to spend 0.7% of GNI on aid is a percentage. It is purposefully designed to rise and fall with the economy. So there was already going to be a cut. But, by reneging on the 0.7% commitment, what would have been a £1.5bn reduction is now a £4.8bn cut. That's a huge difference.

It is in the UK's best interest to support developing countries. The WHO has warned that without global cooperation, the uneven distribution of vaccines could give new COVID-19 variants a greater opportunity to spread.

Read the full motion here:

International Development Motion

The climate emergency and the coronavirus pandemic do not respect national borders. The UK must work with international partners for global solutions to global problems.

As Liberal Democrats, we get that. It's in our DNA.

We have always recognised the importance of supporting developing countries. We want the UK to maintain its world-leading efforts in the sphere of international development.