26 November 2021 – today’s press release

Government must reverse £30m aid cuts to Southern Africa to help tackle new variant

The Liberal Democrats have demanded that the government reverse aid cuts and launch an emergency Covid support fund, to help countries in Southern Africa contain the new variant spreading there.

Analysis by the Liberal Democrats has found that the UK is slashing aid to Southern Africa and Zimbabwe by £30m next year, or by over a third (35%), a move the party described as “cruel and short-sighted.” In addition to this, UK aid spending on global health funding has been slashed by £243 million, from over £1.1 billion to 915 million, a 21% drop.

The proposed package would include:

  • Immediately reversing UK aid cuts to Southern African countries and global health funding, with a focus on supporting local healthcare systems
  • Setting up and improving systems to track and sequence variants in the region
  • Donating vaccine doses and boosters to help rapidly increase vaccination rates, particularly among vulnerable people

Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Layla Moran MP said:

Countries in Southern Africa need an emergency package of support to help contain this outbreak, track the new variant and vaccinate vulnerable populations.

We cannot simply pull up the drawbridge and hope this problem goes away. The government has both a moral duty and pragmatic interest in helping countries in Southern Africa and beyond contain the threat posed by this new Covid variant before it arrives on our shores.

The Conservatives must begin by immediately reversing their cruel and short-sighted aid cuts to the region that have left healthcare systems teetering on the edge of collapse.

The emergence of this variant is also a stark reminder of the existential threat posed to our own recovery by the West’s collective failure to help vaccinate the world. Ministers must lead by example and stop dragging their heels when it comes to donating jabs to COVAX, or this alarming new variant risks being just the first of many.

Read more by or more about , , or .
This entry was posted in News and Press releases.

One Comment

  • nigel hunter 27th Nov '21 - 12:02am

    We can equally campaign to fully replace the Overseas Aid budget to help the countries that the refugees come from.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?


Recent Comments

  • David Evans
    Ronnie was a great liberal, a great man, and a great MP. He was probably a great Lord as well, but to those who knew him, the title Lord barely registered as i...
  • Gordon
    A lot to like here but some differences. For one, money emphatically IS fuel. (It’s also a lubricant but that’s less interesting.) For example, the ...
  • Judy Abel
    I remember Erlend from the time when I worked for Simon Hughes in his Constituency Office in Bermondsey. Erlend was managing the Lib Dems Campaigns Office downs...
  • Mick Taylor
    Bloody predictive text! 'supporter' should read 'support it or'...
  • Mick Taylor
    The responsibility for Johnson continuing in office is not ours. It is totally in the hands of Tory MPs. We know that it largely won't matter if we vote for or ...