• In Focus

    Importance of foreign aid programme

    Aid spending is targeted at improving the lives of people around the world. This includes tackling global diseases, humanitarian assistance, eliminating poverty, reducing the impact of climate change and making progress towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. In addition, many believe aid spending improves the global standing of the UK and builds better trade links. The Government has recently been criticised for announcing a reduction in aid spending.

  • In Focus

    Reduction in the UK’s 0.7 percent ODA target

    In the 2020 spending review, the Government cut aid spending from a target of 0.7% of gross national income (GNI) to 0.5%. Ministers said the UK would spend £10 billion on overseas development assistance (ODA) in 2021–22, this compares with £14.5 billion in 2020. The decision has been controversial, with several politicians and aid organisations expressing concerns about the impact of the reduction.

  • In Focus

    UK development aid and the Integrated Review

    In the 2020 spending review, the Government cut aid spending from a target of 0.7% of GNI to 0.5%. The Government said in its recent integrated review of security, defence, development and foreign policy it would use aid spending “more strategically” to increase the UK’s impact as a force for good. On 28 April 2021, the House of Lords is due to debate the reduction in aid spending and its impact on achieving the integrated review’s objectives.

  • In Focus

    Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy

    The Government published the outcome of its year-long integrated review (IR) of foreign policy, defence, security and international development in March 2021. The IR sets out a strategic framework for achieving the UK’s national security and international policy objectives between now and 2025. The House of Lords is due to debate the IR on 22 April 2021.

  • In Focus

    Global gender equality in political life

    As part of its sustainable development goals, the United Nations (UN) has called for women to achieve full and effective participation in political life by 2030. Currently, women account for 25.5% of national representatives worldwide. The UN has said that with the current rate of action gender parity will not be reached for another 130 years. This article considers which countries are leading on political gender parity and what barriers to full participation remain.

  • In Focus

    UK Bilateral Defence Cooperation

    The Government has said that it intends to publish its integrated review on security, defence, foreign policy and development this month. As part of this, the Government is considering how the UK can work more effectively with its allies. The UK engages in various bilateral defence relationships. This article considers some of those relationships and highlights details of the integrated review.

  • In Focus

    An elusive vaccine: The fight against malaria

    Malaria remains a deadly disease for many countries. A complex parasite causes the illness, which means it has proved difficult to vaccinate against. Currently, only one vaccine candidate has received regulatory approval, and no candidate has ever been fully launched and distributed. Why is malaria so difficult to vaccinate against, and which vaccine candidates are currently in development?

  • In Focus

    Tackling modern slavery in the Commonwealth

    It is estimated that there are around 40.3 million victims of modern slavery worldwide. Of these, about 40% are thought to live in the Commonwealth. In the last few years, the UK Government has distributed £200 million in aid to fund international projects to tackle modern slavery. It has also committed to tackling modern slavery in supply chains. Campaigners have said that progress on the issue amongst Commonwealth governments overall has been slow.