Churches Together in Britain and Ireland has set out the case for protecting Britain’s international development commitment, following recent calls from Cardinal Vincent Nichols and other church leaders to continue spending 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income on supporting the world’s poorest people.
Writing to MPs in November Cardinal Nichols said: “A clear measure of a nation’s greatness is the manner in which it responds to the needs of its poorest. The same is true for the response to poverty between nations. If we truly wish to be a great nation, then cutting the overseas aid budget is a retrograde step.”
Churches Together in Britain and Ireland’s briefing, which asks people to call on their MPs to oppose proposed cuts to aid, explains: “The global pandemic is the biggest humanitarian crisis in a generation, and has pushed an estimated 150 million people worldwide into extreme poverty. At this crucial time, more international assistance is needed, not less.”
It also highlights the importance of ensuring all aid is spent on tackling global poverty, explaining: “It is vital when talking about the amount of aid spent that we also focus on the quality of that aid too. Unfortunately, there have been examples of ‘bad aid’ – involving abuse, fraud and mismanagement. These make media headlines which can contribute to declining public trust in UK aid. But this should not mean that we cut the aid budget. On the contrary, it means we should improve the way we spend aid.”
Picture: A logistics officer places UK Aid stickers onto cargo pallets containing British aid items destined for areas suffering humanitarian crisis at DfID’s UK Disaster Response Operations Centre at Cotswold Airport, Kemble.