Yemen: Aid cuts
The following article about Aid cuts to Yemen is a re-post from Bond. Bond is the UK network for organisations working in international development. This appears to be the first big casualty of the UK dropping its previous commitment of giving 0.7% of Gross National Income to overseas Aid projects. In real terms this is a reduction of £2.9 billion in overall support. A reduction which will cause real hardship and endanger life.
Decision to cut Aid to Yemen
The UK NGO sector has condemned the government’s decision to cut aid to Yemen. It is calling on the government to reverse its decision to cut the UK aid budget or at least give MPs a say in the decision.
In a letter to Boris Johnson, they state: “Yemen should have been a positive example of what merging The Department for International Development and The Foreign and Commonwealth Office could deliver”… “Instead, the UK continues to sell arms and is now cutting its humanitarian assistance by 60%.”
“History will not judge this nation kindly if the government chooses to step away from the people in Yemen and thus destroy the UK’s global reputation as a country that steps up to help those most in need.”
The charities, including Oxfam, Christian Aid, Save the Children and Care International, accuse the government of “misjudgment” in their confidence that “the British public are happy to turn away from countries on the brink of famine or affected by poverty, war and disease”. They also state that “the cuts to UK aid break a manifesto commitment and are taking place with no transparency, consultation or meaningful strategy, and if taken without parliamentary approval, will contravene the law.”
Danny Sriskandarajah, Oxfam GB Chief Executive, said:
“Slashing aid to Yemen – a country on the brink of famine – is a betrayal of Britain’s claim to global leadership and of British values.
“Aid cuts are a false economy that will remove a vital lifeline from millions of people in Yemen and beyond who can’t feed their families, have lost their homes and whose lives are threatened by conflict and Covid.
“The UK’s refusal to halt arms sales that are fuelling the conflict is immoral. I urge the Prime Minister to do the right thing – stop arms sales and restore life-saving aid.”Danny Sriskandarajah
Laurie Lee, CEO of CARE International said:
“I have seen first-hand the lifesaving work of UK Aid in Yemen and what these cuts will mean for 250,000 people, leaving them without essential food supplies when they are already on the brink of starvation.
“And yet, these may be the tip of the iceberg as we wait to see where rest of the cuts will fall, and as we understand the full toll they will take on life and livelihoods around the world. The government must reverse this decision urgently before more lives are lost”Laurie Lee
Find out more
The ‘PowerPostcodes’ campaign works to encourage local community groups to write to their MP’s in support of the vote to maintain our UK commitment to 0.7%. The campaign is running a speaker event via zoom with IRC (International Rescue Committee). They will talk about their humanitarian work funded by UK Aid, to support refugees – and how proposed cuts could have a huge impact.
Below is a link to the online event which will take place on Monday 29th March at 6:30pm UK time. Registration is free. If you know of anyone else who would be interested in coming together with like-minded people to see how we are all part of a bigger movement, then please forward this on to your networks!
For details on the Charities supported by St John with St Mark Church please follow this link.