Dear Permanent Secretary,
As you know, we have made significant progress towards tackling global poverty since 2000. The number of people living in extreme poverty has now fallen by an impressive 50% and the number of Lower Income Countries has reduced from 63 in 2000 to 31 in 2016.
But economic growth hides increasing inequality, particularly in access to health services. For example, despite being the richest country in Africa, less than half of Nigeria’s children have been vaccinated. And India, one of the world’s largest economies, has the highest rates of malnutrition in the world - just under 15% of the population goes to bed hungry. 70% of people living in extreme poverty now reside in Middle Income Countries.
As more and more countries move from low to middle-income status, donors, including the UK, are starting to change their relationships with them. When countries achieve middle-income status they also start to loose eligibility for financial support. This transition process and associated withdrawal of this funding poses a huge risk to the health of millions of people, as many countries will increasingly have to fund their health systems from scarce domestic resources.Thank you for all of the work that the Department for International Development is doing to manage these changing aid relationships. I was pleased to hear that a central point of responsibility has been announced to manage the department's approach to transition and that working principles to guide the transition process are being developed. I am proud of the role the UK has played in helping to combat diseases and reduce the number of people living in extreme poverty. But we must not risk reversing the progress that we’ve made.
With this in mind, I am calling on DFID to:
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