Leak reveals UK Foreign Office discussing aid cuts of more than 50%

The Foreign Office says it is “temporarily reducing the overall amount we spend” following “tough decisions” after COVID-19.

The UK plans to cut aid to some of the world’s most conflict-ridden countries by up to two thirds, according to a leaked document.

According to Sky News the government is reportedly planning to cut hundreds of millions of pounds from foreign aid given to countries in conflict zones.

A leaked document obtained by openDemocracy said civil servants had discussed reducing aid to Syria from £137m pledged last year to just over £45m this year.

It added that in South Sudan, spending could drop from £110m to £45m, while aid to Libya could be cut by 63% and Somalia by 60%.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) did not dispute the reported figures when asked by Sky News for a response, and said COVID-19 had “forced” it to take “tough but necessary decisions”.

Preet Kaur Gill, shadow secretary for international development, said: “This is a devastating reminder of the real world impact the Government’s politically motivated decision to abandon its manifesto commitment on aid will have on the world’s most vulnerable people.

“Cuts in support to countries in the midst of multiple humanitarian crises would cause devastation; leading to some of the world’s most vulnerable people to starve, stretched healthcare systems to collapse and access to clean water stripped away.

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