Overseas Aid: Research

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 8th February 2021.

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Photo of Chi Onwurah Chi Onwurah Shadow Minister (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what estimate he has made of the number of research projects that will be cancelled or paused as a result of reductions in the Official Development Assistance funded R&D budget.

Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The economic impact of the COVID pandemic has forced the government to take the difficult decision to temporarily reduce ODA to 0.5% of GNI. The Foreign Secretary has set out a strategic approach to ensure maximum impact for our aid spend. This includes the use of ODA to support research that can provide new solutions to critical challenges in development.

In January the Foreign Secretary laid a Written Ministerial Statement in Parliament summarising the overall departmental cross-government allocations of ODA spend for 2021. Individual departments will now work through the implications of their spending allocation for the research programmes and activities they manage.

Difficult decisions will be necessary. Ministers will be engaged during February and March on spending plans for financial year 2021/22. I am not yet able to comment on implications for specific research programmes.

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