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Harriett: ‘UK Aid helped Covid response’

12th January 2021

The UK’s work helping to combat the ebola virus in Africa helped us improve our response to Covid-19, according to West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin.

And the lessons learned handling drugs which need to be stored at very low temperatures has helped to inform medical teams across the UK handling the Pfizer/Biontec vaccine.

The MP, who was Minister for Africa and saw at first hand the work of UK aid agencies dealing with the ebola crisis, urged the Government to re-think plans to slash the UK Aid budget fearing that the decision may have wide implications for our country as well as the world’s poorest nations.

Harriett was speaking in a debate about ‘Global Britain’ and she urged the Government to abandon its plans to break an election manifesto commitment to spend at least 0.7 per cent of the country’s gross national income on aid projects.

Harriett commented: “I’ve had the privilege of seeing our UK Aid projects at first hand while serving in the Government as Minister for Africa and I know how important it is to continue this life-saving work. It is also wrong to break a manifesto commitment.

“The knowledge we have on the storage and transport of drugs at very cold temperatures comes from the work carried out in the fight against ebola. In this case, UK Aid is saving UK lives.

“But more troublingly, cutting important aid projects in placed like Ethiopia and Somalia will inevitably mean that more babies die of malnutrition and diarrhoea and fewer girls will be educated.

“The UK has been the only country in the world to meet the NATO target for defence of 2 per cent and the UN target for development of 0.7 per cent. Both budgets are very much in the national interest as we aim to make the world safer, healthier, cleaner and better educated.”

You can read more on this issue in a piece on the Conservative Home website here: https://www.conservativehome.com/platform/2020/12/harriet-baldwin-cuttin...

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Harriett Baldwin
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