A group of major funders and foundations will provide $130 million in emergency funding to help save critical projects tackling preventable diseases and providing family planning – gaps that were left by UK government cuts to aid.
The funders – which include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, the ELMA Foundation and Open Society Foundations – estimate that gap from aid cuts would have affected 80 million people.
The move by this group of funders reflects their concern that the UK cuts could see irreversible damage to vital health infrastructure and services built up over many years with UK leadership and support, with a particular impact on women and girls. The foundations involved are prepared to take an exceptional stop-gap role to sustain services for the year ahead in the expectation that the UK will return to its previous level of support as soon as the immediate Covid emergency is over, in line with public commitments made by Ministers.
‘These life-saving treatments are cost-effective investments. If they go unfunded this year, British taxpayer generosity will be wasted as clinics are closed and essential drugs expire and are thrown away,’ said CIFF CEO Kate Hampton.
‘We are stepping in so that, when the government returns to its commitments next year as it has promised, the progress made will not have been lost. Otherwise, we will see a generation derailed by unplanned pregnancies and debilitating illness where health systems have already been disrupted by Covid-19, and the UK’s aid cuts are now making it worse.’