Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s £220m assistance for Ukraine in spring statement – reaction from Bond, the UK network of NGOs

In today’s spring statement, Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed the UK would be allocating £400million in humanitarian and development assistance to Ukraine following the devastating invasion from Russia. This money will be coming out of the already-reduced UK aid budget, which Sunak cut from 0.7 to 0.5 per cent of gross national income (GNI) last year, rather than being additional to the diminished pot.

Simon Starling, Director of Policy, Advocacy and Research at Bond, said in response:
“The UK government’s allocation of £220m to the Ukraine crisis is welcome and mirrors the generosity of the UK public, but it would be ill-judged and morally wrong if our support came at the expense of other marginalised communities affected by extreme poverty, conflict and inequality.
“The money we give to Ukraine – and all future crises – should be additional to the already-reduced UK aid budget, not taken from it, until the government meets its 0.7% commitment. Otherwise, we risk sabotaging our own efforts to assist people in crisis in countries such as Ethiopia, Afghanistan and Yemen.

“The government must recognise the vital role UK aid plays in responding to today’s multiple crises and helping to prevent future ones by restoring the budget to 0.7% of GNI as soon as possible.”