Mr Speaker, we have a moral duty and, currently, a legal obligation to help those in need. Whether its securing girls’ education or responding to humanitarian crises in conflict zones, aid can be the first and last hope of improving lives.
Britain is the only G7 nation to cut aid during this global crisis and now its allies are taking note. With the G7 Summit set to begin later this week, the stubborn refusal by the Government to reverse its decision, will weaken the country’s position considerably. The US Congress has already written a letter urging the UK to reconsider its position.
For aid to be truly effective, the recipients must have consistency and reliability, and this is currently at risk under this Government.
My constituent, Nicola Sansom is the CEO and co-founder of S.A.L.V.E. International, a small UK International Development charity that has been supporting street-connected children in Uganda since 2008 to have a brighter future through education and family reunification.
She had been awarded the Small Charity Challenge Fund worth £50 thousand and received the devastating news that it had suddenly been cut. Nicola’s case is just one of many.
Given the last-minute decision to cut funding for S.A.L.V.E. can the funding be reinstated so that the hard work done by the organisation does not go to waste and can make a genuine difference to girls’ education in Uganda?
Can the Minister also reconfirm his commitment to get 40 million girls into school by 2025, in light of an estimated 25% cut to girls’ education funding, and how does he expect to fulfil this commitment without adequate funding to ensure girls aren’t subjected to violence, abuse and harassment?
In light of the recent events in Palestine, which saw complete disregard for international law by Israeli forces, UNRWA funding provides much needed aid, vital health and educational programming, and helps strengthen co-operation between Israelis and Palestinians. Given the ongoing blockade of Gaza and the devastating human rights violations, can the Minister guarantee the UK’s funding commitment to UNRWA work will not be included in this Government’s discriminatory cut to the UK aid budget?
There is an undeniable case that UK aid helps the world’s poorest and most vulnerable. During these difficult times, it is even more important that we continue to empower the powerless.
You can watch clips from my speech here.