RCPCH President responds to vote on ODA

Dr Camilla Kingdon, RCPCH President, responds to the vote that took place in the House of Commons on 13 July 2021, affirming the proposed reduction to the ODA budget.

On 13 July 2021, Members of the House of Commons voted to affirm the proposed Government reduction to the Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) budget from 0.7% to 0.5% of GDP.

Dr Camilla Kingdon, President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and Consultant Neonatologist said: 

We deplore the decision made in the House of Commons yesterday regarding the ODA budget. 

As paediatricians, we know how critical the ODA budget is for improving global child health outcomes. The evidence overwhelmingly shows that ODA, particularly when spent on health, works. 

The work of RCPCH Global in a number of low-income countries has already been negatively impacted by the decision. In some cases, programmes of work in local communities lost their funding overnight. 

This also has implications for our NHS. Child health workers continually tell us of the value of working in low and middle-income countries on ODA-funded programmes in helping them develop their skills and practice.

But most devastatingly of all, children will die. The UK Government has chosen to see our country walk away from its role as a global health leader. This is deeply disappointing.