26 November 2020
Harriett Baldwin seeks assurances on our humanitarian support for South Sudan

Harriett Baldwin opposes the cut to our aid budget and seeks reassurance that there will be no cuts to the vital programme in South Sudan.

Harriett Baldwin MP speaking in the House of Commons

Harriett Baldwin (West Worcestershire) (Con)

Our economy has taken a terrible shock this year and that is why 0.7% means that we have already had to cut aid by £2.9 billion this year. Yesterday, I heard an update from the World Food Programme in South Sudan. It has had an even worse economic shock not just from covid, but from the ongoing conflict and the fact they have had locusts and biblical floods. Now, more than half the population is facing famine. The Foreign Secretary recently sent his special envoy for famine prevention and humanitarian affairs to South Sudan. Can he reassure the House that he will make no further cuts to the programming in South Sudan?

Dominic Raab (The Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs)

My hon. Friend is absolutely right to point to South Sudan. I could give a list of countries that risk the compound effect of conflict, covid and famine. We could add Yemen, Burkina Faso and north-east Nigeria, which is why I launched the first UK special envoy for famine prevention and humanitarian affairs, Nick Dyer, and why, as we go through the allocation process that I have described to the House, these are precisely the things—conflict, humanitarian and covid—that we will look very carefully to safeguard for all the reasons that she described.