Critics slam UK government for slashing development assistance to Yemen; concern grows for funding to other fragile and low-income states

The UK government has come under severe criticism for slashing its development assistance budget to Yemen in half, from £164 million (US$220 million) in 2020 to £87 million (US$116 million) in assistance in 2021.

The cuts are part of the UK government’s decision in November 2020 to reduce its official development assistance (ODA) budget from 0.7% of the gross national income to 0.5% as a result of the negative impact of COVID-19 on government finances.

Mark Lowcock, the head of the UN’s Office for Humanitarian Affairs stated that the UK government had decided to "balance the books on the backs of the starving people of Yemen" and over 100 charities have signed a letter to the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, criticizing the decision.

Fears are growing for other low-income countries, as leaked documents revealed the scale of the development assistance cuts, with projected budget cuts of 59% to South Sudan, 60% to Somalia, 58% to Nigeria, and 67% to Syria.

News article - The Guardian

News article - Arab News