David Davis MP comments on international aid cuts


As published in the Hull Daily Mail:

David Davis MP says ‘thousands of children will die’ from international aid cuts. Haltemprice and Howden MP David Davis slammed government plans to slash international aid spending.

Haltemprice and Howden’s MP has said “thousands of children will die” if international aid cuts go ahead after a parliamentary vote attempting to derail the plans was blocked.

Conservative David Davis said cuts proposed by the government to foreign aid would see a “massive reduction” in clean water and food support to people in the world’s poorest countries.

The Haltemprice and Howden MP, among Conservatives against plans to cut foreign aid from 0.7 per cent to 0.5 per cent of GDP, added it would leave people “starving”.

It comes an attempt from Mr Davis, former International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell and others to force a vote on the issue was blocked today (Monday, June 7).

House of Commons Speaker Sir Lindsey Hoyle ruled their amendment to the government’s bill on a new UK research agency was not within legal remits.

But the speaker has called for an “effective” vote on the issue which provoked a rebellion from Conservative MPs backed by Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

The cuts would see the ruling Conservatives go back on their manifesto pledge to keep international aid spending at 0.7 per cent of GDP.

The row comes as heads of government from the world’s largest economies, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, are set to meet in Cornwall for the G7 Summit on Friday.

Mr Davis said cuts would come as Germany, France and the United States were all either keeping aid spending at current levels or were increasing it.

The MP said: “What we are looking at today is cuts that will mean a massive reduction in the provision of clean water.

“Dirty water kills more children than probably anything else in the world other than malaria. We are seeing massive cuts to food support for about 250,000 of the world’s poorest people. These people will be facing starvation without that.

“We are talking about big cuts to the biggest emergency areas in the world, such as Yemen. All of these things will lead to loss of life, probably tens of thousands of children will die due to these cuts.

“Nobody else amongst the G7 is doing this. Germany now is caught up with spending 0.7 per cent, France will pass that this year as well.

“The Americans are increasing their spending by £16 billion a year. All of our allies face similar economic issues to us.

“We have actually got the fastest economic recovery rate in the modern world and as a result, we absolutely should not be enacting policy that will lead to the deaths of large numbers of children.”