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Latest UK pledge for refugees falls short

18th December 2023

Aid cuts and Rwanda plan continue to undermine UK’s global efforts.

Today (13 December) the UK government announced a package of new pledges for refugees at the global refugee forum in Geneva, including £4 million to support inclusive refugee education.

Responding to the Government’s announcement, Rose Caldwell, Chief Executive of global children’s charity Plan International UK said:  

“Whilst we welcome any new support towards global efforts to improve refugee education, far more needs to be done to meet the needs of the record number of children and young people who have been forced to flee their homes. 

“The Government’s pledges today follow years of devastating cuts to overseas aid, which have coincided with a rapidly growing number of children losing access to education due to conflict, hunger, and natural disasters. Last year, just 37% of displaced adolescents were enrolled in secondary education1 . This situation cannot be allowed to continue. 

“Refugee girls have been especially impacted by global crises and continue to face widespread and growing dangers such as sexual assault, forced marriage, and trafficking. For these girls, education can be a lifeline.  

“Given the rapidly growing needs of displaced children and adolescents, we urge the Government to step up its response by immediately reinstating the 0.7 per cent aid target and increasing overall funding for the 110 million people who have been forced to flee their homes worldwide. 

“Furthermore, if the Government is serious about supporting refugees, then it must also protect the rights of displaced children and young people arriving in the UK. We remain extremely concerned by ongoing plans to send vulnerable people to Rwanda, which the Supreme Court has previously ruled to be contrary to international law. The Government must immediately abandon this cruel, unworkable, and ineffective plan.” 

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