The decision will impact investment in global education and deny many marginalised children the chance to go to school and fulfil their potential.
Theirworld has accused the UK government of putting the lives of the world’s poorest people at risk by cutting its foreign aid budget.
Theirworld President Justin van Fleet said the cuts “come off the backs of some of the most marginalised young people on the planet” who will be denied “a quality education, opportunity and a fair chance at life".
His comments came after Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab yesterday set out the allocation for UK Official Development Assistance (ODA) spending for 2021-22. It followed a decision to cut the UK’s foreign aid commitment from 0.7% to 0.5% of gross national income.
"The investment of the UK government in global education has been instrumental in unlocking climate action, gender equality, economic growth and inclusion,” said van Fleet.
Sarah Brown, the Chair of Theirworld, said the decision means "Britain has surrendered its role in unlocking big change throughout the world".
She added: "The aid budget represents a small investment which yields massive diplomatic, economic and security dividends for the UK government. Instead of saving and investing in the most vulnerable people to benefit their lives and maintain our own global connection and safety, these cuts put us all at risk."
Theirworld also joined 200 NGOs in condemning the UK government’s long-awaited breakdown of aid cuts. The organisations signed a joint statement which said:
"Today’s announcement is a tragic blow for many of the world’s most marginalised people the UK once supported, and for the UK's reputation as a trusted development partner.
“The government has not even spared countries ravaged by humanitarian crisis, disease, war and poverty. When other nations are stepping forward and bolstering their aid budgets, the UK has instead chosen to step back.
“In a year when the UK has the chance to show leadership at G7 and COP26, withdrawing vital investment needed to keep everyone safe from health pandemics, conflicts and climate change, is the wrong move.”
- Aid cuts break promise on girls' education: blog by Kate Oliver, Theirworld's Education Financing Policy and Advocacy Manager