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Home  >  News  >  Church Mission Partners Criticise Aid Cuts

News

Ida and Keith Waddell with their children
Ida and Keith Waddell with their children

Church Mission Partners Criticise Aid Cuts

Thursday July 22 2021

The Church of Scotland’s mission partners in Zambia have said that the UK Government’s cuts to international aid will have a ‘seriously damaging effect’ in the country.

MPs voted last week to confirm the £4bn cut, departing from the UK Government’s commitment to spend 0.7% of Gross National Income on international aid – a move condemned by the Church of Scotland as ‘a moral failure’. The Government argued that the cut was needed to keep public debt down during the Covid-19 pandemic, and that it would be temporary.

Keith and Ida Waddell, who work for the United Church of Zambia, said that the cut of roughly 28% would mean a reduction of about £12m for Zambia. “This will have a seriously damaging effect on the Zambian Government's attempt to reach a number of Sustainable Development Goals in the areas of acute malnutrition and food security, on the health and well-being and the provision of clean water and sanitation for many of its underserved people,” they said.

They accused the UK Government of focusing ‘on what directly benefits the national interest at the time’ rather than on meeting the greatest humanitarian need. They said: “International aid, if it is to be worthy of the name, should be given with some degree of altruism, to help meet the most pressing development needs of the countries it is supporting, focusing on the poorest and most vulnerable countries and their citizens. Aid should not be just leveraged according to the UK's economic, security and development interests.

“The UK Government has lost a great opportunity here, to showcase its much vaunted Global Britain with a generous, proactive and restorative International Aid component to a new ethical foreign policy. Instead, an irresponsible decision was taken that will have a minimal impact on the problem it is supposed to address ‘back home'.

“In conclusion we would urge that the Church regularly remind the British Government of its broken commitment to spending 0.7% of GNI in International Aid. We believe that working together as a part of an advocacy coalition, such collaborative work as is the case with the People's Vaccine, enhances the reputation of the Church as a powerful force for justice, compassion and the common good, thereby upholding practically biblical tenets that support social justice.”


Comments

Lily Musk - Saturday, July 24th, 2021

“I am heart sore at the vote for reducing the percentage from 07 per cent. I agree that it is a moral failure on the part of the government to make the decision.”


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