| 14 April 2024, Sunday |

Africa International Aid Cuts to Affect Millions Across Africa

The COVID-19 pandemic’s impact has led to cuts in foreign aid from donors like Britain, which this month slashed its aid budget by $5.5 billion, hitting those on the ground in Africa. The funding loss is felt in Burkina Faso where it could possibly shut down a group that helps thousands of gender-based-violence and rape survivors. Henry Wilkins reports from Kaya, Burkina Faso

The cut to the aid budget has left a £4.5 billion (over $6.3 billion) black hole in the budget compared to 2019, leading to numerous program closures in 2021, including in key areas like health and humanitarian work.

Devex tracks the impact of the U.K. aid cuts.

July 29 — The Small Charities Challenge Fund is closed for new applications, the FCDO announces. Funding under the grant was “wiped out” on April 30, NGOs said.

July 27 — Cuts to education programs continued even as the U.K. government prepared to host the Global Education Summit, amid suspicions other cuts were being held until after the big event, prolonging uncertainty for service providers.

July 22 — Malaria Consortium’s program in Nigeria, known as Support to the National Malaria Programme 2 or SuNMaP2, was ended three years early “with immediate effect,” according to the organization. “Nigeria has the largest malaria burden in the world, accounting for 27 percent of global cases and 23 percent of global deaths each year,” Malaria Consortium said in a statement. SuNMaP2’s predecessor program saw malaria prevalence in children fall from 42% to 27%.

July 20 — The FCDO is seeking to make 20% savings on employee salaries, which is likely to cause redundancies, according to Bloomberg. Development staff are reportedly expected to bear the brunt of the cuts. The FCDO confirmed the department was reviewing its operating costs ahead of the autumn spending review to “ensure we have the right capabilities to deliver on our international priorities and respond to any challenges. This review takes account of all our spending, not just aid and no decisions have yet been taken.”

July 13 — The U.K. Parliament passes a motion cementing the aid budget reduction to 0.5% of national income and effectively placing the 0.7% target out of reach for years.

July 7 — Christian Aid announces the closure of peace-building work led by churches in South Sudan because of the 59% U.K. aid cut to the nation. “These cuts risk having a lethal effect on the chances of a lasting peace here,” says James Wani, South Sudan country director at the organization.

July 1 — The Overseas Development Institute publishes an analysis on changes to the U.K.’s country by country bilateral aid spend, following the publication of new figures on Dev Tracker, the government’s online aid spending transparency portal.

June 16 — huge tranche of evidence submitted by development organizations to Parliament’s International Development Committee provides the most detailed public information so far on the “car crash” handling of the U.K. aid cuts process by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, revealing numerous new program reductions, delays, and cancelations.

June 15 — David Davis, one of the Conservative members of Parliament rebelling over the aid cuts, tells the House of Commons that “impeccable sources” informed him that the government planned to cut aid to Ethiopia by £58 million, or “more than half.” After a request for clarification, the FCDO did not deny the claim, but linked Devex to two recent statements on the Tigray crisis.

June 15 — U.K. aid cuts of £6.1 million hit existing or agreed conflict prevention and peace-building projects in Myanmar, Yemen, South Sudan, Nigeria, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, and Somalia, according to a joint statement from Conciliation ResourcesInternational Alert, and Saferworld.

June 14 — The U.K. cancels support for the far-reaching Strategic Partnership Arrangement with Bangladesh, the NGO BRAC says. According to the group, the decision means the U.K. will no longer provide an education for 360,000 girls, school places for 725,000 children, nutritional support for 12 million infants, access to family planning services for 14.6 million women and girls, skills training and assets for 385,000 families in extreme poverty, or climate interventions for 2 million households.

June 10 — Unitaid, a health agency funding medicines and health tools for lower-income countries, announces that the U.K. government has cut its 2021 funding by 92%, from £77 million to £6 million.

June 3 — The Malawi Violence Against Women and Girls Prevention and Response Programme has been canceled, according to a source working at one of the implementing organizations.

May 26 — The Support to Adolescent Girls Empowerment in Sierra Leone program suffers a “significant budget reduction” as a result of the aid cuts, according to Annie Murthi, head of finance at implementing NGO Purposeful. The full reduction is still being decided.

May 26 — Humanitarian research group Elrha reports a 65% cut in Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office funding for its Humanitarian Innovation Fund and an unspecified funding reduction for its Research for Health in Humanitarian Crises project.