Rishi Sunak recycling aid money deals “damaging blow” to UK reputation ahead of COP summit

The Liberal Democrats have warned a UK government decision to effectively slash the aid budget by billions more pounds will send “completely the wrong message” to the world ahead of next month’s COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

It comes after it was reported that the Chancellor Rishi Sunak will include the UK’s share of financial assistance provided by the International Monetary Fund through Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) as part of the 0.5% aid target. The move is expected to reduce the aid budget by another £4bn to £5bn over a number of years.

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and International Development Layla Moran MP said:

This Conservative government has dealt yet another damaging blow to Britain’s global reputation, by recycling aid money to avoid helping the world’s poorest people.

It sends completely the wrong message to the world ahead of next month’s crucial climate summit.

Rishi Sunak should listen to the voices within his own party urging a rethink and reverse this mean-spirited decision. The UK should also use the money from its windfall to boost the UN Green Climate Fund, and urge our partners at the G7 to do the same ahead of COP26.

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