Statement by the Deputy Secretary-General – on cuts to Official Development Assistance (ODA)
20 May 2022
As Chair of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group, I am deeply troubled over recent decisions and proposals to markedly cut Official Development Assistance (ODA) to service the impacts of the war in Ukraine on refugees.
It is clear for all to see that the continuing war in Ukraine is having an alarming impact on a world economy already battered by COVID-19 and climate change. Global food prices have reached an all-time high. A global energy crisis is already in motion. Overstretched public finances in the aftermath of the pandemic have left many developing countries with little capacity to cope.
This is the exact moment requiring countries and the United Nations system to respond to the surging humanitarian and development needs by bringing additional resources needed to meet Member State ODA pledges, thus investing in humanity’s resilience and preventing the current crisis from cascading into many others.
Extraordinary times call for extraordinary efforts.
The Secretary-General has urged all countries to reconsider making cuts that will affect the world’s most vulnerable.
The people who benefit from the work of the UN system need additional and more predictable funding.
Contributions to key UN agencies, funds and programmes working with people on the ground are facing steep proposed reductions. Cuts to development and the United Nations mean scaling back support at a time when demand for support to meet the deepening development needs has reached an all-time high.
We must invest to rescue the Sustainable Development Goals and ensure that we can continue to help the most vulnerable people in our human family on a safe planet.