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Report: UK to cut aid to Nigeria by 58 percent

Report: UK to cut aid to Nigeria by 58 percent
March 06
00:02 2021

The United Kingdom is considering major cuts in aid facilities to at least eight countries, including Nigeria, according to reports in the British media.

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Open Democracy, a UK-based political website, on Friday reported leaked emails from the accounts of government officials as confirming the development.

The cuts were reportedly discussed by senior officials at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) in February.

The report revealed that Nigeria is set to see a 58 percent cut in aid.

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Others reportedly affected are Libya (63 percent between 2021 and 2022); Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (60 percent); Sudan (£110 million to £45 million); and the Western Balkans (50 percent).

TheCable understands that already, the Facility for Oil Sector Transparency and Reform in Nigeria (FOSTER), which supported reform in the petroleum industry, is to be abruptly ended with effect from March 31.

The project was funded by the UK Department for International Development (DfID) — now renamed Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office after merger with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) — and managed by the Oxford Policy Management (OPM).

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The FCDO supports maternal and infant health, sanitation, hygiene, water and education in Nigeria.

It is not yet clear which sectors will be affected.

In a letter dated December 2, 2020, and addressed to Sarah Champion, chair of the International Development Committee, House of Commons, Dominic Raab, UK foreign secretary, had expressed regret that the figure would change from 2021, but that it would maintain the 0.7 percent on the Official Development Assistance (ODA) budget for 2020.

“This decision has been taken with real regret. The global pandemic has forced us to reduce our budget. However, our commitment to be a world-leading donor does not change. We will spend 0.7 per cent this year and it is our intention to return to this when the fiscal situation allows,” Raab wrote.

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“Despite next year’s adjustment, and using the latest official figures from the OECD (from 2019), the UK will likely be the second most generous ODA spending country in the G7 as a percentage of our national income ( GNI) in 2021.”

The foreign secretary had also said the ODA would focus its spending on “countries where the UK’s development, security and economic interests align, such as sub-Saharan Africa and the Indo-Pacific region”.

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