Professor Jackie Taylor, President of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, has expressed her disappointment following yesterday’s vote in the UK Parliament to keep the reduction in budget for international development from 0.7% to 0.5% of national income.
The statement from Professor Taylor is co-signed by Professor Jeremy Bagg OBE, Professor of Clinical Microbiology and Head of the University of Glasgow Dental School. Professor Bagg is the Chair of the College’s Global Health Group.
Professor Taylor said:
“The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow has been at the forefront of global citizenship in recent years and our Global Health Group, established in 2015, pursues the improvement of population health across the world through a focus on global citizenship, reduction in health inequalities and promotion of the principles of planetary health, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
“The impact of this cut, which amounts to around four billion pounds, will have a profound impact on humanitarian and development projects across the world. Many of our global members and their organisations will be deeply concerned and sadly, it is always the poorest and the most vulnerable who will be most impacted in areas such as maternal and child health.
“At this point in time during a global pandemic, when it is even more crucial that the inequalities between rich and poor nations are addressed, this decision by the UK Government is especially damaging on multiple fronts. Not only is it affecting life-saving and health-promoting programmes for many of the world’s most needy, but it also damages the UK’s reputation as a global funder and significant contributor to scientific and humanitarian advances.
“As a caring and compassionate organisation of healthcare professionals this College has 15,000 Fellows and Members throughout the world and believes passionately in the qualities of inclusion, diversity and working towards an end to health inequalities. We call upon the UK government to reconsider its decision and reinstate foreign aid back to its previous level as soon as possible.”