Responding to reports that the Government is considering a permanent cut to the UK aid budget, Christian Aid’s UK Advocacy and Policy Lead, Jennifer Larbie, said:
"Cuts have consequences. Cutting the UK aid budget will have consequences for the world’s poorest. This is not just about the compassion of our country it is about justice.
"It will result in people not accessing vital health care during a global pandemic. People going hungry. In fewer children being educated and their already limited choices being further diminished.
"These are the tangible effects. The intangible, but no less damaging, ones are to the UK’s global standing. By not keeping our foreign aid promises we further undermine our position as host of the G7 next year. We give the impression; do as we say not as we do.
"Against the backdrop of a recent increase in defence spending of over 16 billion pounds if this is a signpost of priorities and future action it is very worrying.
"The people of this country, have a proud tradition of never turning a blind eye to those in need around the world. The values of fairness and justice are echoed through their giving and their work. People give money, sign petitions or bake cakes because they believe helping those in need is a fundamental part of being human. Their giving has continued in the face of a pandemic They expect their government to do the same.
"These are challenging and difficult times. But the government has a clear choice: honour its commitment to the world’s poorest, or not. As Archbishop Desmond Tutu has said, a promise to the poor is particularly sacred."