Response to recent cuts to ODA funding regarding AMR and its global impact

Emma Pickup ANTRUK announcements, Parliament

ANTRUK has read the statement regarding the UK Government’s decision to reduce the funds available for Official Development Assistance (ODA) and the possibility that ongoing funding for ODA projects in antimicrobial resistance may be terminated. We appreciate that this will have a significant impact on current research into tackling Anti-Microbial Resistance undertaken by UK Higher Education researchers. It will potentially undo current global progress in tackling AMR. This is all being put at risk in the shadow of a global pandemic when we have learnt that nobody is safe until everyone is safe.

Professor Colin Garner, Chief Executive, ANTRUK, commented:

‘The possibility of reducing funding for AMR in LMICs, which was previously supported by the UK and which impacts many UK researchers, can only be a step back in the war against ‘superbugs’. As COVID has clearly demonstrated a virulent infection arising in one country pretty quickly spreads around the world. We cannot isolate ourselves from the health impacts of drug-resistant infections. Coming on top of the likely science cuts arising from BREXIT we are in danger of becoming a scientific bit player on the world stage in years to come. ODA funding must be restored to 0.7% of GDP as quickly as possible. Otherwise, we will lose a generation of AMR researchers that will not be easily restored’.

We issue this statement in solidarity with AMR researchers who have ongoing international projects funded via the ODA. Unfortunately, we cannot offer similar levels of funding. We do, however, suggest researchers contact their local Members of Parliament to raise the issue of cuts to Government. As a charity, we will do all we can to continue to champion and support AMR research nationally.