THE United Kingdom is urging other countries to partner with the UK in an effort to battle the coronavirus pandemic and other humanitarian issues faced by countries globally.
Last Wednesday, the UK launched its Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and pledged a new £119m aid package with commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of the country’s national income on aid.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced, “The UK will lead a global call to action to protect the world’s poorest people from coronavirus and the increasing threat of famine.”
Nick Dyer, has been appointed as UK’s first Special Envoy for Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Affairs to work in partnership with other donors, United Nation agencies, non-governmental organisations and foundations to help prevent catastrophic famine.
In a press release issued, the British High Commission in Trinidad and Tobago stated, “The coronavirus pandemic, conflict, locust swarms and climate change have left 250 million people worldwide facing extreme hunger this year, with parts of Yemen, South Sudan, Nigeria and Burkina Faso on the brink of famine. Without international attention, many more will die from hunger and disease, and the pandemic will continue to spread in developing countries and to the wider world.”
The Commission stated, “The UK will commit a new £119 million aid package to tackle the combined threat of coronavirus and famines, which is expected to help alleviate extreme hunger for over six million people in Yemen, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Somalia, Central African Republic, the Sahel, South Sudan and Sudan.”
Raab said, “Coronavirus and famine threaten millions in some of the world’s poorest countries, and give rise to direct problems that affect the UK, including terrorism and migration flows. Global Britain, as a force for good in the world, is leading by example and bringing the international community together to tackle these deadly threats, because it’s the right thing to do and it protects British interests. We can only tackle these global challenges by combining our diplomatic strength with our world-leading aid expertise.”
The Commission stated that the UK is already leading the way in the international search to find a coronavirus vaccine and has committed to equitable access for all to a successful vaccine, treatments and tests. It is the largest donor to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which is helping to ensure the poorest countries have access to the Covid-19 vaccine.
In addition, the UK will continue to use its seat on the UN Security Council to call for life-saving humanitarian access for everyone who needs it and hold countries to account on their international legal obligations to allow aid workers to operate impartially in conflict zones, the Commission stated.
The UK has so far pledged £774 million of aid to support the global effort to combat coronavirus.