Open letter to UK Government: Reverse cuts to Overseas Development and Aid (ODA) budget

The Conflict Research Society (CRS) condemns the cuts in the Overseas Development and Aid budget which threaten efforts to tackle global poverty and responses to conflict in developing countries. We are concerned that these cuts will damage the valuable work underway by conflict researchers and practitioners, including NGOs working in areas of conflict.

The Foreign Secretary has announced that the new strategic framework for ODA will focus on seven global challenges. One of these includes ‘open societies and conflict resolution’, and another ‘science, research and technology’ including ‘research-led solutions’ on ‘conflict and poverty’.

Nevertheless, the planned cuts in the ODA budget from 0.7 to 0.5% of GDP threaten ODA-funded research, including existing research awards to CRS members, and will have detrimental effects on staff in UK universities, their partners in low and middle income countries and the beneficiaries of this research in violence-affected communities in the Global South. We are concerned that vital research on conflict and conflict resolution will be at risk.

The cuts also threaten the work of NGOs including practitioners who are CRS members working in the field of conflict response and conflict resolution, and their partners in areas of conflict. Important programmes that foster local capacity to prevent, mitigate and recover from conflict may be lost.

We urge the government to reconsider and restore the planned cuts.

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