United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFIF), on Thursday said despite plans by Britain to exit the European Union as shown by the outcome of last year’s majority vote, it would continue to support economic growth and providing humanitarian aid.
The UK’s aid agency, while reacting to a report by the right-wing populist UK Independent Party that the EU exit could lead to scrapping “the foreign aid target” of spending 0.7% of GDP on international development, said resources would be “used to ensure we remain a power on the world stage.”
According to the DFID, reducing investment in international development we would make it difficult continue providing access to clean water to 3.3 million Syrian refugees; save thousands of lives by eradicating the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone and preventing its spread to other countries; or vaccinate over 67m children against preventable diseases.
The agency listed other interventions to include allowing 11.3m children across the world go to school; creating over one million jobs across 70 developing countries; and enabling 162m people vote in freer, fairer and more democratic elections.
The statement added: “We are securing trade agreements with developing nations, which will not only help end the need for aid in the long run, but also boost the interests of British businesses. At the same time, we are also helping the millions of people unfortunate enough to be afflicted by poverty, disease and conflict.”
Reacting to the UKIP report, DFID said “the UK aid budget invests in our security and prosperity and is a key part of Global Britain’s international leadership as we leave the EU.
“All DFID programmes and partners are subject to rigorous checks and scrutiny to ensure we reach the world’s poorest and most vulnerable, while also achieving the best value for UK taxpayers.”