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Aid NGOs call UK funding reductions to East Africa “insulting and shortsighted.”

Aid organisations have responded with shock and outrage to reports that the UK government has proposed cutting more than £150m of aid to east Africa.

The UK’s Department for International Development (DfID) is planning to axe a total of £3.1bn from its global aid budget to finance the costs of Brexit, of which £150m will come from the east Africa region.

Aid organisations which had their plans funded through DfID support said the cuts were both ‘insulting’ and ‘shortsighted’.

“We believe that these cuts are incredibly shortsighted and a slap in the face to the people living in poverty in the region,” said Alex Renton, the head of policy and campaigns with the charity CARE International UK.

“The UK’s aid programmes in east Africa have been incredibly successful in tackling hunger, poverty and disease.”

Renton highlighted the “critical role” played by UK aid in supporting the success of countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda, which have all achieved significant economic growth and poverty reduction in recent years. “These cuts will have a devastating effect on UK efforts to tackle poverty and inequality in east Africa,” he said. “The UK needs to invest in development, not cut it. To turn its back on east Africa now would be an insult to the people of the region who have gained so much from the help of the UK.”