International philanthropists pledge £94m to cowl UK international support cuts | UK information

A group of global philanthropists, including Bill Gates, has pledged £ 93.5 million to fill the gap created by the UK government’s cuts in foreign aid.

After the government cut funding by around a third during its spending review in autumn, many “critical” projects have stalled or are at risk.

The consortium said it didn’t want drugs to go to waste because health projects had to close, according to the Sunday Times.

The philanthropists, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, the ELMA Foundation, and the Open Society Foundations, collect some, but not all, of the bills for these projects.

Kate Hampton, executive director of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, said, “These life-saving treatments are low-cost investments. If they are not funded this year, UK taxpayers’ generosity will be wasted as clinics close and critical drugs expire and be thrown away. “

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said he was still praying for the government to return their pledges to help. “These diseases cause unimaginable suffering and completely preventable deaths,” he told the Sunday Telegraph.

“This emergency funding is welcome and urgently needed, but I continue to pray to restore our promise to those in extreme poverty around the world to love them as our neighbors by campaigning for the 0.7% target Insert auxiliary outputs. ”

Former musician and Live Aid organizer Sir Bob Geldof said: “How shameful that private individuals, in order to prevent the fatal consequences of Boris Johnson’s broken word, have to fill the fatal void of illegally relinquishing the world’s weakest to their horrors.” , inevitable fate. “

The UK already spent proportionally less on development aid than Germany, which spends 0.73% of its national income on development aid, and is now down at 0.53% below France, which spends 0.5%.

Since the announcement of the cuts in November, charities have begged the government to reverse them.

Last month, aid agencies warned the cuts ahead of the deadly hurricane season had left 70,000 without health care and 100,000 without water in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, the largest refugee settlement in the world.

In April, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said the missing £ 130 million had contributed to a quarter of a million child and maternal mortality rates, 14.6 million unwanted pregnancies and 4.3 million unsafe abortions after its funding fell by 85% to prevent.

And in the same month, a consortium of 19 aid organizations made a last-minute appeal to the Federal Foreign Office to suspend planned aid cuts for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where a third of the population is facing acute food insecurity.

The commitment to spend 0.7% of gross national income on development aid was also a conservative manifesto promise that many within the Tory party were reluctant to break.

In protest against the cut, Foreign Minister Liz Sugg, who was responsible for sustainable development among other things, submitted her resignation to Boris Johnson at the end of last year. Andrew Mitchell, a Conservative former minister for international development, and former Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt also criticized the cuts.

But the government stuck to its decision, with Chancellor Rishi Sunak blaming the record and national debt.

A government spokesman said: “The UK will spend more than £ 10 billion this year to improve global health, reduce poverty and tackle climate change – making us one of the largest development aid donors in the G7.

“We were always clear that the government would spend 0.7% of GNI again [gross national income] to international development as soon as the budgetary situation allows. “

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