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IPPF response to announcement of UK general election

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak yesterday announced the next general election will take place on 4 July 2024, bringing with it an opportunity for the elected government to restore UK aid spending to pre...

London, 23 May 2024: UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak yesterday announced the next general election will take place on 4 July 2024, bringing with it an opportunity for the elected government to restore UK aid spending to pre-pandemic levels.  

In 2023, UK aid spend was £15.3 billion, an increase of £2.5 billion (20.2 per cent) on 2022, representing 0.58% of gross national income. However, this still falls short of the UN target for developed countries to allocate a minimum of 0.7% of their GNI to overseas development assistance (ODA). The UK government has a statutory duty to meet this target.  

In addition to this, the UK is spending over a third of its aid budget inside the UK; the party-elect could and should go further to restore its reputation and international impact, including making clear that the parliamentary and legal commitment is to spend aid internationally on poverty. 

The FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office) states it is committed to gender equality and working with partners around the world to ‘shift the dial’ on progress on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). The dial can only be shifted when long-term commitment is taken seriously – including fiscally – to SRHR partners.   

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is grateful for FCDO’s commitment to the Women’s Integrated Sexual Health (WISH) programme, and its successor WISH Dividend. This has enabled IPPF, and our Member Associations, to expand our footprint and service delivery and ensure regular capacity building support to governments. 

Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General of IPPF, said: 

“This election will take place at a time when the world is experiencing more inequality, more divisiveness, and more crises than ever before.  

“Cuts to bilateral and multilateral ODA on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) since 2020 have had a negative impact upon the aid recipients of SRHR programmes, particularly on women and girls and those belonging to marginalised groups. Nearly every UK development partner has faced four successive years of cuts.  

“Previous aid cuts have left millions of women around the world with less control over their bodies and their futures. Our hope is that the successful party in this election understands the key role of the UK in empowering women and girls and providing life-saving humanitarian assistance to those in greatest need. It is critical now more than ever that the UK government restore its aid budget to at least 0.7% as soon as possible if there is any hope of reversing the impacts of the cuts.” 


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About the International Planned Parenthood Federation 

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.   

For over 72 years, IPPF - through its 118 Member Associations and 15 partners - has delivered high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare and helped advance sexual rights, especially for people with intersectional and diverse needs. Our Member Associations and partners are independent organizations that are locally owned, which means the support and care they provide is informed by local expertise and context. 

We advocate for a world where people are provided with the information they need to make informed decisions about their sexual health and bodies. We boldly stand up and fight for sexual and reproductive rights, and against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and freedom. We deliver care that is rooted in rights, respect, and dignity - no matter what. 

 

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