FirstFT: UK blocks ‘non-essential’ overseas aid payments

Good morning. This article is a local version of our FirstFT Newsletter. Subscribe to us Asia, Europe/Africa or America edition to receive it straight to your inbox every weekday morning

British aid programs abroad were thrown into disarray after the Treasury blocked “optional” new payments for the summer due to fears that the cost of rescue work in Ukraine will exceed the spending limit.

Last year, Boris Johnson’s government slashed the foreign aid budget in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, “temporarily” waiving the manifesto commitment to spend 0.7% of GDP in favor of a 0.5% limit.

Last week, Chief Secretary of the Treasury Simon Clark told the Foreign Office and other agencies to withhold aid payments until Johnson replaces the prime minister, as the floor was about to be exceeded.

The move stunned officials working on development projects, who said the programs would be halted, hitting Britain’s claim to be an “aid superpower”.

Andrew Mitchell, a former Conservative international development secretary, said it would “undoubtedly cost lives” in the world’s poorest countries. Labor said the suspension of aid payments was “extraordinary”.

Thank you for reading FirstFT Europe/Africa. You can send any thoughts about this newsletter to firstft@ft.comor reply to this email – jennifer May

1. The UK and France will have seats on the Eutelsat-OneWeb Board of Directors. governments will everyone has a place on the board a unified satellite operator under the terms of a planned merger between Eutelsat and OneWeb, which aims to challenge billionaire space entrepreneurs Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.

2. WHO declares monkeypox a global health emergency. The World Health Organization has used maximum possible designation for the worldwide outbreak of 16,000 cases of monkeypox that was previously deployed over two years ago for Covid-19. The risk of monkeypox is “high” in Europe but remains low elsewhere.

3. A strong dollar is erasing billions of dollars from US corporate earnings. Dollar rises this month to the highest level in 20 years erased billions of dollars from U.S. company sales in the second quarter, prompting many to cut their outlook for the rest of 2022. Tech companies are acutely exposed to the strong dollar due to their overseas presence.

Line chart of the DXY dollar index showing the US dollar rose to its highest level in 20 years

4. The Fed will conduct a second rate hike by 0.75 points US Federal Reserve Ready This Week take a dramatic step curb inflation for the second month in a row, but the central bank’s strategy after that point is less certain as it pits peak consumer prices against recession risks.

5. Insolvency Service Uses New Powers to Ban Covid Credit Scams The Bankruptcy Office used for the first time powers to investigate and punish directors which is liquidating businesses to avoid debt as it ramps up anti-fraud measures in the UK’s state-backed Covid-19 emergency lending schemes.

The next day

Race for the lead in the UK bbc conducts live televised debates between Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, the latest candidates in the race for Boris Johnson’s seat as prime minister. To find out who are their cabinet favorites.

  • Through mailboxes: Sir Keir Starmer will use speech in Liverpool urge Labor to focus on both stimulating growth and redistributing wealth as it seeks to wrest the mantle of economic competence from the Conservatives.

world meetings EU ambassadors agreement ahead of an emergency meeting of energy ministers tomorrow to discuss softening the bloc’s gas demand cut proposal. The General Council of the World Trade Organization meets in Geneva for a special meeting.

Liverpool dock workers vote to strike Union Unite will hundreds of workers voting to strike at one of the UK’s largest container ports, in the latest show of dissatisfaction over wages.

Referendum in Tunisia The country votes in a popular referendum on new constitution this would greatly increase the powers of the president.

What else do we read

Syria: What is Turkey’s grand plan? At least 9 million Syrians now fall under the responsibility of Ankara following border incursions to push back Kurdish militants from the YPG, which the Turkish government considers a terrorist organization. It represents Turkey’s biggest footprint in an Arab state since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1918 and reflects its growing role in shaping the future of northern Syria.

Investors beware in emerging markets After a stunning drop in prices in the first half of the year, a growing number of analysts are recommending greater participation in emerging market assets. But historically low prices may not be enough, given macroeconomic headwinds. writes Mohamed El-Erian.

Rethinking insurance: why prevention is better than claims The insurance sector is developing, with technologies such as wearables making it easier to collect real-time customer data. This has been instrumental in the development of schemes to prevent claims, such as offering incentives to consumers for physical activity.

Photo collage of a woman running next to various fitness tracking icons.

By working with consumers and businesses to change behavior and reduce risk, insurers hope to limit the likelihood and severity of payouts. © FT montage: Dreamstime

How to Stop Feeling Lonely at the Top While going alone can be extremely rewarding, it can also be challenging. Two long years of Covid have shown how easily loneliness can turn into isolation. Founders and entrepreneurs can find support, networks, and help—they just need to find the time to writes Shola Asanteco-founder of Sante + Wade shoes.

Imposter syndrome is actually a human condition A little self-doubt is part of a healthy professional life, so why do we call it a disease? Women, in particular, are tired of being told how to change in order to function better in a given environment, writes Viv Groskop, because it ignores the reality of an imperfect world.

Food

A new generation of gourmet chefs offers innovative ice cream flavors such as chipped potato skins, Douglas fir. . . and used books.

Ribbed dark chocolate ice cream with glazed pistachios and candied kumquats at Noci Restaurant in Islington, London.

Ribbed dark chocolate ice cream with glazed pistachios and candied kumquats at Noci Restaurant in Islington, London © Laura Jalbert

Thanks for reading and remember that you can add FirstFT to my ft. You can also choose to receive a FirstFT push notification every morning within the app. Send your recommendations and feedback to firstft@ft.com. Subscribe gentlemen.

shattered times – Documenting business and economic changes between Covid and conflict. Subscribe gentlemen

I’m working on it – Learn about the big ideas shaping the workplace today in this weekly newsletter from Jobs & Careers Editor Isabelle Berwick. Subscribe gentlemen