Author(s): James Landale

UK government plans radical shake-up of foreign aid for climate change disasters

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The UK government is to spend millions of pounds helping countries prepare for future humanitarian disasters in a radical shake-up of its development policy, the BBC has learned.

A new £150m fund will help poorer countries get access to money faster in emergencies and reduce the impact of future climate crises.

The change is expected to be part of a new White Paper designed to make Britain's foreign aid spending go further while also finding new sources of international finance.

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The central idea of the White Paper is that conflict, climate and Covid have changed and blighted the world so much that countries must think differently about development.

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The government currently plans to spend about £1bn on humanitarian aid in 2024. The new "resilience and adaption fund" will automatically take 15% of that money, which will be used to help countries prepare for future humanitarian and climate disasters.

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There are also plans for special insurance schemes and pre-agreed contingency funds to ensure countries can get access to humanitarian cash the moment disaster strikes, instead of having to wait for donor countries to raise the money which can take some time.

Developing countries may also automatically be able to stop paying back international debts in times of crisis.

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