UK News NHS overseas training scheme latest to face aid cut after £48m withdrawn
Royal Family LIVE: Prince Harry accused of six separate snubs during UK visit
PRINCE HARRY failed to meet privately with Prince William, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge and their children George, Charlotte or Louis, insiders have said - with the Duke also accused of snubbing the Queen by flying home to the US early.Other than attending the funeral, Harry barely left Frogmore Cottage, where he isolated on his return to the UK, according to reports.
A scheme designed to allow NHS staff to assist with health training in developing countries has been hit with a £48 million cut as part of wider overseas aid reductions, according to a charity.
Chiefs from the Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET) said the cutback was a “punch in the gut” and would see collaborative work planned with 500 health facilities across Africa and Asia scrapped.
It is the latest cut to emerge from the Government’s decision to break its manifesto commitment to maintain spending at 0.7% of national income by lashing it to 0.5% in 2021/22.
Jabs for 42-year-olds: Your questions answered
The vaccine rollout has been extended for the second time in two days in England.Adults aged 42 and over are now able to book their jab.
The UK Partnerships for Health Systems (UKPHS) programme, set up by THET and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM), would have seen NHS staff provide training to 78,000 healthcare professionals in countries such as Nepal, Uganda, Ethiopia, Bangladesh and Myanmar.
The training would have included care for children with cancer and improving maternal and neonatal care, the trust said.
Due to be implemented across 2020-2024, the trust said the funding for the five-year programme was approved by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) in December 2019 when the Department for International Development (DfID) was still a separate entity in Whitehall.
But the trust said it was informed last month that the investment would be cancelled although £1.2 million of British taxpayers’ money has already been spent which cannot be recouped, it added.
UK aid to superpower China hit a record £70 million in 2019
UK aid to China - the world's second largest economy and a country that is viewed by London as a security concern - hit a record high of nearly £70 million in 2019, a spending watchdog has revealed. © Other The UK was still donating aid to China, despite it being viewed as a security concern More than two-thirds of the money went to British research institutions or "diplomatic efforts", with the salaries of some diplomatic staff counted as official development assistance (ODA), according to an analysis released by the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI).
The charity estimates that the decision will mean that more than 500 health facilities across the developing nations the money was earmarked for will no longer receive any support through the programme.
Video: £30m for UK to develop future-proof vaccines (Sky News)
Ben Simms, chief executive of THET, said: “When the Government announced this scheme more than 12 months ago, hundreds of NHS staff volunteered to support their call to assist colleagues overseas facing rising tides of Covid-19.
“They did so with urgency, building on long-standing partnerships between NHS institutions and their counterparts in Africa and Asia, many nurtured by UK Aid for over a decade.
“Their response was a recognition of the global nature of this pandemic and of the necessity for the NHS to take lessons from other nations about pandemic preparedness and response.
Britain imposes 'devastating' 85% aid cut to UN family planning programme
The UK has imposed a "devastating" cut of about 85% in aid to a family planning programme in the world's poorest nations - money that could have helped prevent 250,000 maternal and child deaths, Sky News can reveal. © Reuters Among its roles, the organisation helps provide access to modern contraceptives to millions of women Britain is the biggest donor to the initiative, run by the United Nations sexual health and reproductive agency (UNFPA), which also seeks to reduce unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortions.
“The abrupt cancellation is a punch in the gut for staff who have spent weeks in preparation, and the hundreds of thousands of patients who were set to benefit from the sharing of UK expertise.”
Crossbench peer Lord Crisp, a former NHS chief executive and THET patron, said: “Cancelling this programme damages health care in some of the poorest countries in the world and does severe harm to the UK’s reputation.”
Other overseas aid funding cuts to have trickled out recently include an 85% reduction to the UN sexual and reproductive health agency, which it branded “devastating” for women, girls and their families around the world.
Unicef’s UK funding announced on the weekend it is due to take a hit of around 60%, while a report by media outlet Devex said ministers are planning to reduce funding for polio eradication by 95%.
A leaked memo has also suggested that the UK will slash bilateral funding for overseas water, sanitation and hygiene projects by more than 80% – a move WaterAid described as “savage”.
Dozens of babies spared paralysis after spine surgery in the womb .
Spina bifida prevents the spine and spinal cord developing properly.NHS England said the intricate surgery, which involves a team of up to 30 medics, has been carried out on about 32 babies in the womb since January 2020.