THE Government is planning to pass new laws to reduce its overseas aid budget – the money it gives to help some of the poorest countries in the world.
The money goes towards things like humanitarian aid, crisis relief, vaccinating children, helping kids go to school and providing food.
The Government wants to cut the aid from 0.7% of UK national income to 0.5%, or about £4 billion. This would mean a change in the law.
The plan has been criticised by MPs, church leaders and almost 200 charities, who fear the change will be permanent rather than temporary, as was previously suggested.
Government ministers say that the coronavirus pandemic has made the UK economy weaker, so it must cut spending to save money.
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said: “Helping the world’s poorest is one of the great moral and ethical achievements of our country.”
Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who gives millions to charity, warns against cutting foreign aid. He said: “COVID-19 doesn’t respect country borders. This is a moment when what’s good for the world – and what’s good for the UK – are exactly the same thing.”