ump to Main Content

Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell MP, 16 June 2023
Minister for Overseas Development, House of Commons
Dear Andrew Mitchell,
Subject: Imminent suspension of food assistance for 8,000 families in Gaza by the World Food Programme
The Enfield and Barnet Branch of United Nations Association/UK have grave concerns about the
imminent suspension of food assistance to 8,000 families in Gaza. These families have been
identified through WFP’s food security assessment as the most vulnerable and food insecure among
the long-term resident population that has lived in the area for generations. These families are now
unable to access sufficient food due to the prevailing situation, which greatly restricts employment
opportunities. The Gaza Strip is on the Mediterranean coast but all fishing vessels are prohibited,
just one of many restrictions.
WFP provides a small but essential monthly food voucher to these very vulnerable families, to be
redeemed in local shops. Due to lack of funding, WFP has announced the imminent suspension of
this assistance.
To date the UK has contributed very little to WFP’s needs based plan for Palestine, amounting to
only 2.2 % over the last five years. For comparison Germany has contributed 10.4%.
We are aware that the UK government announced a temporary reduction in ODA from 0.7% of GNI
to 0.5% of GNI effective from 2021 and that the UK government committed to returning to spending
0.7% as soon as the fiscal situation allows. Nevertheless the situation in Gaza cannot wait. Honouring
the UK’s commitment to the Official Development Assistance Target of 0.7% as soon as possible is
essential if UK is to keep its promises to the world’s neediest people.
We therefore urge the UK government not to turn a blind eye to the situation of the most food
insecure families in Gaza and to make every effort to make an urgent voluntary donation to the
World Food Programme to meet this particular urgent need.
At the same time we urge you as Minister for Overseas Development to do everything in your power
to bring forward the date that the UK will return to meeting our Official Development Assistance
Yours sincerely,
Ali Hessami Francis Sealey
Co-chairs of Enfield and The Barnets UNA






The UK Government’s Strategy for International Development May 2022


Response from Gender Action for Peace and Security UK (gaps UK)


Response from Sarah Champion MP Chair of the cross-party International Development Committee



From: Devex Newswire <

Written by William Worley





A High Court judge in the United Kingdom has rejected the International Planned Parenthood Foundation’s application to bring a legal case against the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office over the government’s deep foreign aid cuts.

Justice Barry Cotter rejected IPPF’s judicial review application on the grounds that it was late and that the government is allowed to cancel contracts, Will Worley reports. 

"We have taken every step to demonstrate the unlawful way in which these cuts were implemented, including the sudden termination of already agreed contracts,” says Dr. Alvaro Bermejo, IPPF’s director general. 

Meanwhile, FCDO has launched a campaign to fight sexual violence in conflict, with Foreign Secretary Liz Truss vowing to “make it my mission to work with countries and international partners to establish a new agreement to condemn them as a ‘red line’ and end them for good.”

The U.K. will host a summit on the topic in 2022, and the campaign will build on the Preventing Violence in Sexual Conflict Initiative, led by former Foreign Secretary William Hague and actress Angelina Jolie. 

Among the commitments accompanying FCDO’s announcement was an £18 million ($24 million) pledge to UNICEF and the United Nations Population Fund to end child marriage. During the U.K. aid cuts, funding to UNICEF was cut by 60% — from £40 million to £16 million — and UNFPA by 85% — from £154 million to £23 million. Will continues to keep his eye on the ongoing aid cuts with this tracker. 

Read: Judge denies legal challenge against FCDO over UK aid cuts





July 13 2021


July 12 2021
Dear Chairs and Fellow UNA members,
We wish to establish a network of volunteers who would be interested in supporting the cause of getting UK aid giving restored and who are concerned about the devastating impact of the aid cuts.
We need one person in each parliamentary constituency to lobby MPs and generally raise awareness of the issue. They may well also wish to liaise with other local NGOs.
Please could the branch chairs tell us which constituencies their branch covers. And we would be grateful if you could help with finding a branch member for each constituency.
We have linked up with Rachel Pallett of BOND who is concentrating on this area and has kindly offered to help provide the expertise and resource material we need.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Please reply to

Catherine Pluygers
UNA Laser Working Group on Aid and Development

June 22 2021

Estimated UK cut of $900m offsets increases by others nations, according to annual Global Humanitarian Assistance Report UK aid cut behind $284m fall in global humanitarian spending | Aid | The Guardian


26 January 2021

A coalition of NGO’s condemn lack of transparency on the UK cuts to development aid.
According to Bond ‘little or no information is being made publicly available’.
Despite the UK being elected to the Human Rights Council (2021-3) it has proposed a budget cut from 0.7 to 0.5% of GNI which will affect millions of the most vulnerable people
facing food insecurity, in need of humanitarian assistance or an education.
NGO’s are shocked by the impending cuts and how little information they have had about
where these will land. And they are also shocked by the lack of consultation in 2020
from the government which has been considered as a leader in the field for communication
and transparency. And they feel largely excluded from the huge decisions made in 2020.


The UK has been a generous donor to the South in trying to alleviate some of the many challenges that have confronted the countries with which we have had long-standing links. The general public has been extremely generous in trying to overcome some incredible disasters.
We need to be very clear that giving aid to someone who might be in need is different from helping them to develop. A few coins do not address any of those issues; it requires a much longer and patient approach involving different players. The horrible war in the Yemen, the Rohingya refugees in camps in Bangladesh, the women starving in Afghanistan because they have been prevented by the Taliban to earn a living – all deserve aid and relief, immediately. And there seems to be more and more of these disasters and we know that more will emerge as the climate catastrophe unfolds.
But we must not forget that the main cause of death in the Global South is lack of food. Some 9 million people per years die because of lack of food. That is 30,000 per day, 1,250 per hour. These are preventable death.  The world produces enough food to feed everyone.  The issue is the diversion of food; the bulk of the corn exported from Latin America goes to China to feed animals to feed the better off people of that nation. To bring the issue closer to us – let us look at Africa. In the latest data from the three UN agencies that deal with food, plus UNICEF and WHO, of the estimated 1.347 millionpopulation of Africa, those in severe food insecurity total 347 million; the cost of a healthy diet is $4.37(£3.60) per day; and 80.90% of the population areunable to get a healthy diet.
Yet, according to the African Development Bank, in 1980 Africa was not importing any food. Now, it is importing between $20 and $25 billion per year. The figures are projected to increase as population increases and climatic conditions worsen. Add to that the instability of the Sahel and of the Horn and you have a rapid increase in demand.
The poorest of the poor- as a group – are the nomads. We cannot reach them. The second level of poverty are the refugees. We can help them through efficient food deliveries. But the largest number of people in the world who are constantly on the bread line – literally – are farmers who work on their own little farms and probably account for 60% of the food produced in the world.  That is where development should commence. And here we have failed. Increasing the amount of aid we give will not obviate the situation. A different approach might.
Here we see the parting of the ways. Governments have lent money to governments. They should help them to repay those loans, rout out corruption, improving their ports and airports. But the development support that can be provided to people, to individuals, to communities is of a different type. We need to create an agenda in which the poorest receive the support they ask for – to become better farmers. That means to enable them to achieve food sovereignty – the right to own their own lands and to grow their own food, for their own needs. That means not to force them to produce more primary commodities – tobacco, tea, coffee, sugar, cotton, cocoa – that we force them to grow to repay their debts to us and that we do not allow them to process. That in turn forces them to sell their lands to the foreign companies – or to their own elites – and become dispossessed.We need to educate everybody, especially women, the mainstay of development. We need to support the adoption of agro-ecological techniques to maintain their own varieties of food. We have done too little of that. We have given too much money to tertiary education establishments. The result is that they produce doctors and we attract them because we pay better. We force them to export unprocessed primary commodities but do not allow them to process them. Wepush for them to adopt more chemically imported seeds, fertilisers, pesticides. Here we can see the difference between what might be the purview of governments and what should remain a peoples-to-peoples relationship of long-term development.
It is not more aid money that needs to be put in international development. It is more targeted support to develop the poorest of the earth where they are at – not where we wish them to be. General primary education to all, particularly enabling girls to access it, would be the best way for them to decide about the number of children they might want. We do not have that right, much as we think that is their priority. The same applies to vaccines; we might think it should be their priority. We might need them to get a vaccine, because it protects us, but that is not our prerogative. The best way to empower them is to provide universal primary education.  We have neglected it. It is the best compromise between what they want and what we can offer. It is development.
Benny Dembitzer,16th September 2021