The impact of Coronavirus on low income countries

Thank you for contacting me with your concerns about the impact of Coronavirus on low-income countries.

I am proud that the UK is at the forefront of the global response to Covid-19, contributing up to £764 million.  The UK is the largest single donor to the efforts of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness to find a vaccine and I am glad to see that DFID has also pledged new funding for civil society organisations, like faith-based organisations, including £18 million through the Rapid Response Facility.  This includes funding for Christian Aid.

During this emergency phase, the UK is working with international partners to tackle the coronavirus and support developing countries.  For example, countries from around the world joined the UK in pledging to give everyone equal access to new coronavirus vaccines and treatments through the “COV-access agreement”.  I also welcome that the UK is making available up to £150 million to the IMF to help developing countries meet their debt repayments and has committed to a temporary suspension of debt repayments from the poorest countries, alongside the G20.

But there will come a time when we move beyond the emergency phase, and we owe it to future generations to build back better and base our recovery on foundations which include a fairer, greener and more resilient global economy.  I am encouraged that the Government is committed to supporting the resilience of vulnerable communities and driving the global economic recovery, and welcome that the UK will lead a global workstream on ensuring an inclusive and sustainable recovery.

It is also important to make sure that the UK Aid budget continues to be spent sensibly and appropriately following the merger of the FCO and DFID.  I will continue to closely monitor these issues through my membership of the International Development Committee.

Thank you again for taking the time to write to me.