The United Kingdom will stop giving aid to China and Russia and instead focus on helping the world’s poorest nations, International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell announced June 16.
“It is not justifiable to continue to give aid money to China and Russia. Other country programs which are less effective will be closed or reduced and the savings will be redirected towards those countries where they can make the most difference,” Mitchell said in a statement.
He said China, which hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, and Russia, a G-8 member, will gradually see a decrease in aid “as soon as practical and responsible.”
The Department for International Development will review the list of 90 countries that currently receive 2.9 billion pounds (USD4.26 billion) in bilateral aid and will refocus funds to where they will be most needed, the Guardian reports.
Redirected funds will benefit priority countries and be used for poverty reduction measures, including programs to improve maternal health, women’s right to family planning and protection against deadly diseases like malaria.