To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of (a) the effect of reductions to the Overseas Development Assistance budget on the ability of the UK to fund research across the world and (b) the effect of that matter on the credibility and reliability of the UK as a research funding partner.
The Covid pandemic's economic impact has forced the government to take the difficult decision to temporarily reduce ODA to 0.5% of GNI. Despite this reduction, we will remain a world-leading ODA donor, spending around £10 billion on ODA in 2021-22. The Foreign Secretary has set out a strategic approach to ensure maximum impact for our aid spend for 2021-22, laying a Written Ministerial Statement for Parliament in January, summarising overall departmental cross-government allocations of ODA. FCDO and other departments are working through the implications of their allocations for the research programmes they manage.
The UK has led funding for scientific advances that have helped drive significant reductions in extreme poverty, increases in agricultural productivity, declines in childhood mortality, and increases in life expectancy across the developing world. We remain committed to the use of ODA to support research that can provide new solutions to critical challenges in development.