UK government criticised for slashing £1.5billion from the World Bank’s programme to help lower-income recover from Covid-19

Ministers are to cut about £1.5billion from the World Bank’s programme to help lower-income countries recover from Covid-19 as the government seeks to reprioritise its reduced aid budget.

Britain will reduce its contribution to the latest round of the bank’s development funding programme, the International Development Association (IDA), from just under £3billion to £1.4billion. It was previously the biggest international donor to the initiative, which provides zero-interest or low-interest loans to boost economic growth and reduce inequalities in developing countries.

Details of the latest funding commitment, to be published today, will show that Britain has reduced its share of support by 54 per cent and has fallen behind the United States and Japan as the biggest donors to the scheme.

Abigael Baldoumas, policy manager for aid effectiveness at Bond, said:

“The UK slashing its contribution by more than half is yet another casualty of cuts to Official Development Assistance. The drop of £1.5billion is damaging and means the UK is no longer the leading IDA grant donor – a position it has held proudly for several years.

“Cutting support to an established and critical fund before the International Development Strategy is published is concerning because it raises questions around whether the UK intends to live up to its reputation as a reliable and strategic global partner.”


Notes to editor

  1. Bond is the UK network for organisations working in international development. Bond unites and supports a diverse network of over 400 civil society organisations from across the UK, and allies to help eradicate global poverty, inequality and injustice
  2. An overview of the World Bank’s IDA can be found here
  3. For further information or interviews please contact Juliet Conway on 07990518334 or [email protected]