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Epidemiology: Research

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN HL72, tabled on 11 May 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the recent cuts to Overseas Development Assistance on research and preparedness for future pandemics; and how many grants for research into pandemics and global health have been affected by these cuts.

Answered on

25 May 2021

We have prioritised our aid to be more strategic and remain a force for good across the world. Following a thorough review, the FCDO's aid budget has been allocated in accordance with UK strategic priorities against a challenging financial climate of COVID. FCDO will now work through what this means for individual research programmes, in line with the priorities we have identified.

We will focus our research on the core priorities for poverty reduction, including COVID recovery, pandemic preparedness and other international health priorities. Overall, we have committed up to £1.3 billion of aid spending to counter the health, socio-economic and humanitarian impacts of the pandemic. Scientific and technological innovation runs through every one of the seven priority themes for our ODA spend. UK expertise in science, research and development has led to one of the first effective and affordable COVID-19 vaccines. We will remain a world-leading aid donor and across Her Majesty's Government we will spend more than £10 billion this year to address poverty, climate change and global health threats - including ensuring that developing countries have access to COVID-19 vaccines and treatments.