Commenting on the cuts to UK’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) from 0.7% to 0.5% of gross national income (GNI), as set out in today’s Spending Review, Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said:   

"At a time when 115 million people are expected to be pushed back into extreme poverty, slashing the UK's aid budget is unconscionable. Let's be clear, this is an attempt to balance the books on the backs of the world's most marginalised people. 

"258 million children were out of school before the Covid pandemic and millions more now stand to never return. Gutting the UK's ODA from 0.7% of GNI - a commitment enshrined in law - will do untold harm to the futures of these children, precisely when our support is most needed. This reneges on a manifesto commitment to lead on 12 years of quality education - breaking the Government's promise to girls around the world. 

"A global emergency like Covid requires not just local solutions, but also global thinking for the long term. Today's announcements are therefore short-sighted, counter-productive and will have dire impacts on the world's poorest and most marginalised - a far cry from ‘Global Britain’.”