Aid cut deeply damages UK leadership on climate and poverty action

Press release, 25 November 2020
In response to the government’s decision to cut the UK's annual aid budget, IIED director Andrew Norton said:

“By slashing the UK’s aid budget, the government is deeply damaging its fight against the climate crisis and nature loss, while jeopardising the lives and livelihoods of millions of women, children and men living in the most vulnerable countries. 

“This cut is particularly worrying now as millions more people are pushed into extreme poverty by the impact of COVID-19.   

“The UK has a proud record as a global leader in both international development and in providing the climate finance needed to support the poorest communities to deal with the impacts of the climate crisis. Reducing UK support now risks undermining its capacity to provide global leadership as it prepares to take over the G7 presidency and host the UN climate summit next year. 

“Damaging as this is, the government must ensure it is temporary. It must not use COVID-19 as an excuse to marginalise its role in helping the poorest countries to develop and thrive.”

Media enquiries

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Beth Herzfeld, IIED head of media, on +44(0)7503 643 332 or email