A cross-party group of parliamentarians is urging the UK Government to "flatten the curve globally" and calling for greater aid funding and international co-operation to tackle the spread of coronavirus worldwide.
In a letter to the International Development Secretary, coordinated by Liberal Democrat spokesperson for International Development Wendy Chamberlain MP, the cross-party group have warned the Government if they do not support developing countries in their public health response then Ministers “risk dire consequences.”
According to recent reports, many developing countries face huge shortages of the necessary equipment to fight COVID-19. Graham MacKay, Chief Operating Officer at Bond, has warned NGOs "urgently need additional humanitarian funding".
Ahead the international development committee taking eveidence on international aid today [28/04/2020], the cross-party group warned only £20 million is being made available for non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for International Development Wendy Chamberlain MP said:
"This is a time of acute worry at home, but we can't forget our responsibilities worldwide. This virus doesn't respect borders and our response to it must be global. We cannot defeat this in isolation.
"The UK has an obligation to support countries with weaker health infrastructure and limited access to clean water. Liberal Democrats are therefore calling on the Government to step up and deliver UK Aid where it’s most needed.
"So far, UK Aid has been vaccine-focused. But a vaccine is only helpful if you can stop COVID-19 tearing through an entire population in the first place. If we don’t support developing countries in their public health response, then a vaccine risks being too little, too late.”
Graham MacKay, Chief Operating Officer at Bond, added:
"We urgently need additional humanitarian funding for international NGOs. The third sector plays a vital role in ensuring nobody is left behind during a crisis. Many are already working in communities providing basic sanitation and helping vulnerable people get access to food and clean water.
"But these charities are at risk of collapse unless they are provided urgent support to cover core costs. So we also need a stabilisation fund to help UK civil society organisations if they are to continue to deliver their life-saving work, both here in the UK and globally. UK charities are facing a funding hole of £4bn, and international development charities need at least £320m if they are to survive this difficult period."