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ONE Responds to calls to cut the UK aid budget

Cutting the UK’s aid budget – as proposed in a new report by The Henry Jackson Society, which was cited by Boris Johnson MP on the Today programme and endorsed by Bob Seely MP – could seriously harm the UK’s international standing.

The report, which also called for the Department for International Development to be merged into the FCO, could see Britain stepping back from helping millions of people each year.

In response, Romilly Greenhill, UK Director of The ONE Campaign, said: “Cutting UK aid would be an absurd idea. Why step back at such a pivotal time for our global standing?

“Britain is a ‘development superpower’ for good reason – our aid yields extraordinary results for the world’s poorest people as well as boosting the UK’s soft power – let’s not risk this.

“Our analysis* shows that the FCO is one of the worst performers on aid quality – putting the FCO in charge of DFID would be like making the reserve player the captain of the team.”


*ONE’s Real Aid Index assess the performance of Whitehall Departments spending significant amounts of aid. The first analysis of its kind, it found that aid quality spent by some departments – including the FCO – was of a lower standard than the Department for International Development.

These proposals could also result in:

  • At least 60,000 fewer lives would be saved by immunisation each year
  • At least 1 million fewer children would be in education each year
  • At least 140,000 fewer people would be saved from modern slavery each year
  • At least 40 million fewer people would be treated for tropical diseases each year


Note: this press release has been updated from the original copy.