Cutting international aid budget "short-sighted" and must be reconsidered

The Church has hit out at a UK Government decision to cut the international aid budget from 0.7% of gross national income to 0.5%.

It has been reported that the the move means a reduction in more than £4 billion a year.

Very Rev Dr Susan Brown, convener of the Faith Impact Forum, said: "The decision to slash the aid budget will do irreparable harm to our partners around the world, who themselves are braced for the economic shock of the pandemic.

"Cutting this work is short-sighted and tarnishes the UK's international reputation.

Zambia emergency food
An emergency food station in Zambia which serves hundreds of people from two villages.

"In times of global need, it is those with the broadest shoulders that need to support others.

"International development is not about charity, it is essential to the delivery of the vision of a Global Britain as foreign aid supports UK priorities.

"Protecting public health, promoting human rights, tackling violence against women, mitigating against climate change.

"Helping to build stable economies and societies will have long term benefits for international peace and security.

"The Church of Scotland has supported the campaign for a 0.7% international development budget for many years.

"We ask MPs of all parties to urge the UK Government to reconsider, for the sake of humanity and because of what this decision says about what kind of country we aspire to be."