Geraint Davies, MP for Swansea West, joined over 200 MPs in calling on the government to support the world’s poorest effected by Covid-19.
The letter, by Rushanara Ali MP, calls on the government to provide support to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable communities in response to the crisis created by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The letter highlighted that while the pandemic’s epicentre has been within the wealthier nations, the virus is now beginning to affect developing countries and those affected by violent conflict.
Mr Davies said: “Many developing nations have chronically weak healthcare systems, a greater burden from existing diseases and often have many people living in densely packed slums or refugee camps.
“While it is necessary that the UK prioritise the homefront, the virus presents a menace to us all that does not respect borders.
“It is necessary that we take a global and all encompassing approach to the virus. By supporting the world’s poorest in this time of greatest need we can defeat the virus.”
The government has subsequently responded to the letter, stating that: “the UK is at the forefront of the global response to COVID-19.
“We are using UK aid to its full effect to counter the health, humanitarian and economic risks of this pandemic.
“The UK has committed up to £744 million of funding to support the global efforts to combat the outbreak of COVID-19.
“The UK is one of the biggest donors to the international response.”
Mr Davies said: “I welcome the government’s response to Rushanara Ali’s letter. The commitment to £200 million funding to United Nations, WHO and International Red Cross and the UK’s joining of the UN calls for a global ceasefire is laudable.
“I do believe that more can be done. The UK and the international community needs to do more to support those in developing countries by increasing the public health funding in these places and by using our expertise and existing technical capacity to scale-up public health programmes.
“While temporary debt suspension by the IMF is good, the UK should press for more widespread and longer suspension of debt by private entities and the World Bank. The world faces a deep and painful recession because of the pandemic and a short term reprieve from debt will not be enough to support developing countries.”