I share your concerns with regards to UK aid spending; in a time where international aid is more important than ever, we cannot and must not turn our backs on the world’s poorest.
I am appalled that the UK Government have turned their back on their international legally binding commitment to spend 0.7% of the GDP on international aid, especially when a further 100 million people are expected to be pushed into extreme poverty as a result of the pandemic.
Even more shameful is the lack of accountability of UK aid spending. The Government is reportedly re-allocating funds towards projects that cannot be considered to be aid projects, such as diplomacy and education exchanges. Amid further talks of dramatic cuts to funding, a new Royal Yacht Britannia on the backs of the world’s poorest reported to be funded through Official Development Assistance (ODA) spend, only further serves to illustrate that the UK government is not fully committed to poverty reduction and fairness internationally.
My colleague Alyn Smith said “the move is a betrayal of some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world who have been disproportionately hit by the pandemic, as well as the impact of climate change… Scotland can do so much better, and with the full powers that come from being an independent country we will be able to extend our hand to the world’s poorest rather than pulling it away.”