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Science: Research

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN 126869, tabled on 8 December 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what effect the reduction to the Official Development Assistance budget will have on the level of funding allocated to scientific research from that budget.

Answered on

16 December 2020

Scientific advances 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.

The Covid pandemic's economic impact 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 to identify what development interventions are most effective, and develop and test new technologies and innovations, that can provide new solutions to critical challenges in development, such as climate change and infectious diseases.

Difficult decisions will be necessary, and we are currently running a prioritisation exercise on allocations, to ensure that every pound we spend on ODA goes as far as possible and has greatest impact.