Govt’s “broken food promises” will damage Britain’s global standing, claims MP
The government has announced at a food Summit in Tokyo that it will make no financial commitment to tackle world hunger – contradicting promises made recently to the committee which monitors development issues in Parliament.
The Chair of the International Development Committee, Sarah Champion MP, said this means the government has done a U-turn and broken its promises to the poorest people in the world.
The government announced it would not make a new commitment on hunger at the Nutrition For Growth Summit, a two day international meeting being opened in Tokyo on 7 December.
In a communication to the International Development Committee in October this year the government said malnutrition was the underlying cause of 45% of child deaths and 20% of maternal deaths in poorer countries. The Foreign. Commonwealth and Development Office said it was consequently taking a range of actions to support the prevention and treatment of malnutrition.
The October 2021 communication was in response to a recent report by a Sub-Committee of MPs on the International Development Committee which recommended that the international community, and in particular the UK government, should not lose sight of the importance of supporting nutrition in poorer countries while also combatting Covid-19. This was because properly nourished people are far better equipped to survive diseases.
“The contradiction between what the government told the Committee and what it said in Tokyo is stark. It has broken another promise”, Sarah Champion said.
She went on: “This will badly affect our standing in the world. This government has shown itself to be an unreliable partner”.
In the light of the coronavirus pandemic, the government reduces the proportion of GDP that it spends on foreign aid from 0.7% to 0.5%.
The UK government claims that OECD figures show it still playing its part as the third highest contributor of overseas development aid in the world.