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Irise / Coronavirus Response  / Irise International’s statement on the disastrous impact of UK Aid cuts on girls’ lives and futures.
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Irise International’s statement on the disastrous impact of UK Aid cuts on girls’ lives and futures.

The government is turning its back on vulnerable girls in their hour of greatest need

Irise International’s statement on the disastrous impact of UK Aid cuts on girls’ lives and futures.

“Now things are not good, many have been forced into early marriages, pregnancies. If we get help, many of us would go back to school, and we can achieve our dreams and become future leaders.”17 year old Uganda school girl

The recent abrupt and chaotic cuts to UK aid have left the futures of the most vulnerable girls in the world hanging in the balance. The coronavirus pandemic, and lack of an adequate gender sensitive response, had already forced their lives into crisis. They face increased risks of forced marriage, sexual violence and exploitation, teenage pregnancy and school dropout. At a critical moment in their lives, when support and protection is needed more than ever before, the UK government has chosen to turn their back, reneging on promises that were made and undermining the effectiveness of the investments of the last decade.

Girls’ futures and our hope of a rapid and resilient global recovery hang in the balance. If girls stay in school, marry later and have fewer children we know they contribute significantly to the social and economic development of their countries. If we allow this generation of girls to be lost to early marriage and school drop out we handicap our recovery by limiting our global potential and sowing new challenges for the future. 

Irise is committed to fighting for girls’ futures. With the support of our community we will continue to hold the government to account for the commitments they have made and advocate, fundraise and raise our voices for girls, their futures and their potential to transform our world. 

“I am asking for help. Whoever has […] heard my voice can come in and help me put right my future, and I go back to school because I want my dream of becoming a nurse to come true. The truth is we are many in this situation.” – 17 year old Ugandan school girl

“Covid impacts plus the aid cuts will significantly crush the communities. They are at a stage where they are losing hope.” – Lillian Bagala, Regional Director, Irise Institute East Africa

If urgent action is not taken now, we will lose the potential of this generation of girls to the catastrophic social and economic effects of the pandemic. Their futures represent a decade of investment and progress and the promise of a rapid and resilient recovery from the coronavirus crisis.”

The Period Equality Network, a joint statement developed by 50+ grassroots groups and community based organisations working with Irise

What Freedom Day? Protest in response to UK Aid Cuts. 

Join us for a sit-down demonstration at Parliament Square on Thursday 22nd July. We will be wearing black t-shirts to mourn the loss of young women and girls’ futures. As the UK opens up, we ask parliament to consider the devastating impact of their decision on some of the most vulnerable people in the world.

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