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Bill & Melinda Gates pledge £100m to partially cover UK foreign aid cuts


Bill & Melinda Gates pledge £100m to partially cover UK foreign aid cuts


The intervention of billionaires to partly restore the UK’s foreign assistance budget has been dubbed “embarrassing.”

According to the Sunday Times, donors like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will contribute more than £100 million to a one-year plan to partly replace the UK’s aid budget cutbacks, with the money going to initiatives addressing avoidable illnesses and family planning.

Many “critical” projects have stagnated or been placed at danger since the government slashed funding by roughly a third in the fall budget review.

The administration has agreed to cut foreign assistance expenditure from 0.7 percent of national GDP to 0.5 percent this year.

The donation will give short-term financing to assist preserve “critical projects” and guarantee that progress is not “wasted.”

Labour and the Archbishop of Canterbury both criticized the government’s reduction, which amounts to a £4 billion annual deficit.


Labour and the Archbishop of Canterbury have stepped up their demands for the Government to reconsider its decision to cut foreign assistance, citing a claim that a group of donors would help fill the gap as evidence of the policy’s damage.

Justin Welby said he was still praying for the government to honor its aid commitments. He told the Sunday Telegraph, “These diseases cause unimaginable suffering and entirely preventable deaths.”

“This emergency funding is welcome and desperately needed, but I continue to pray for the restoration of our promise to those living in extreme poverty around the world, which was to love them as our neighbor through our commitment to the 0.7% aid spending target.”

Many “critical” projects have stagnated or been placed at danger since the government slashed funding by roughly a third in the fall budget review.

The financial effect of the epidemic, according to the government, prompted ministers to make “tough but necessary decisions”.

Kate Hampton, the chief executive of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, said: “These life-saving treatments are cost-effective investments. If they go unfunded this year, British taxpayer generosity will be wasted as clinics are closed and essential drugs expire and are thrown away.”

Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the Commons foreign affairs committee, said: “When Britain withdraws, others step in. By cutting our aid, we have given states such as China and Russia an opportunity to expand their influence at Britain’s expense.”

Preet Kaur Gill, Labour’s shadow international development secretary, said the donors’ intervention has humiliated the UK.

Ms Gill issued a statement saying, “This is a shameful moment for this Conservative government.”

“As low-income countries continue to battle against the pandemic, this contribution to try and plug some of the gap left by the government’s slashing of life-saving paid programmes is welcome, but it will only be able to prevent the very worst of the damage caused.

“The government’s decision to cut the aid budget, against the wishes of parliament, has already cost lives and they must reverse it or put to a vote as soon as possible.

Sir Bob Geldof, a former musician and Live Aid organizer, said it was “disgraceful” that private donors were required to compensate for the government’s “abandonment” of people in need.

“How disgraceful that in order to prevent the fatal consequences of Boris Johnson’s broken word, private individuals need to fill the fatal void of an illegal abandonment of the weakest of the world to their awful, inevitable fate,” Sir Bob remarked.

Charities have been pleading with the administration to overturn the cutbacks since they were announced in November.

Before the catastrophic hurricane season, relief organizations warned that the cutbacks had left 70,000 people without health care and 100,000 without water in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, the world’s biggest refugee camp.

Oxfam and ActionAid have slammed the cutbacks, which total approximately £4 billion per year, claiming that they have already caused projects to be canceled.

A government spokesperson has said that the UK will  “return to spending 0.7 per cent of gross national income on international development as soon as the fiscal situation allows.”

“The UK will spend more than £10bn to improve global health, fight poverty and tackle climate change this year – making us one of the biggest aid donors in the G7,” he said.

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