Church of Scotland dismayed by international aid budget cut vote

Pictured above: Actor Gerard Butler meeting poor children in Malawi where Scottish charity Mary’s Meals does a great deal of good work.

13th of July 2021

By Cameron Brooks

Lord Wallace, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, said: “I am bitterly disappointed in the outcome of today’s vote on aid spending which will see the continuation of harmful and damaging cuts to some of the world’s poorest people and most fragile communities.

“Cutting the international development budget below the 0.7% target continues to be a breach of the International Development (Official Development Assistance Target) Act 2015.

“It is completely contrary to the manifesto commitments made by all the main political parties – this decision is a moral failure by the UK Government.

“What we choose to spend our money on is a very real sign of our priorities and the cuts that have already been made have had a devastating impact.

“Poorer nations are still struggling against the COVID-19 pandemic and struggling to provide access to basic healthcare, sanitation and vaccinations.

“At this time they need more, not less, support to develop infrastructure, mitigate the impact of the climate crisis and work to overcome violence against women and girls.

“In 1958, the World Council of Churches first proposed a global minimum target for rich countries to spend to support aid and development around the world.

“We have been supporting this cause for over 60 years and we will continue to call on all parties to work for a restoration of the 0.7% target.

Lord Wallace, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

“What we choose to spend our money on is a very real sign of our priorities.

“Our commitment to financial aid to help the world’s poorest people and most fragile communities shows our values and priorities – to show love to strangers, even those who have different cultures, languages and religions.

 “Through the Church of Scotland’s international partnerships and relations, we know the very real impact that global and sustainable development is having on poverty, education and healthcare.

“I am so thankful to all those MPs who voted today to restore the international aid spending commitment back to the 0.7% target and all those Church members who have written messages, signed petitions, joined protests and prayed for this outcome.

“The spirit of Jubilee 2000 and Make Poverty History lives on.”

In May, the General Assembly backed a motion calling on the UK Government and Westminster Parliament to continue to provide a minimum of 0.7% of Gross National Income as Overseas Development Assistance in line with the International Development (Official Development Assistance Target) Act 2015 and all main parties’ 2019 manifesto commitments.

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