Development Assistance Committee commends UK’s increased aid spending

Review recommends that UK maintains its level of spending in the years ahead.

Review recommends that UK maintains its level of spending in the years ahead

The OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) has released a review commending the UK’s increased development spending.

In 2013 the UK raised its official development assistance by 30.5 per cent to £1.4 billion, which the DAC says made it the world’s second largest donor by aid volume after the US.

The UK is the first major economy to meet the 0.7 per cent target that was agreed by international donors in 1970.

Current spending represents 0.72 per cent of gross national income (GNI). The average ODA/GNI ratio among DAC members is 0.30 per cent.According to the Peer Review released today, the UK should strive to maintain this level of aid spending. The scaling-up of the budget was planned in a way that should ensure the extra money was well spent and had the greatest possible impact.

The Review also praised the UK for focusing on  fragile and conflict-affected states such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Ethiopia. In 2012, the UK allocated 0.19 per cent of its GNI to the least-developed countries, exceeding a UN goal of 0.15 per cent. More than half of its bilateral ODA that year went to sub-Saharan Africa.

Each DAC member is subject to a review every 4-5 years, as a way of monitoring its performance and holding it accountable for past decisions.

DAC chair Erik Solheim said:

“The UK has remained committed to fighting global poverty despite its own economic crisis and has fulfilled its promise to spend 0.7 per cent of its GNI on development aid. This is an impressive achievement and shows that a persistent political will can bring ambitious goals within reach.”

The Review found that the UK could do more ‘to bring a development dimension into the government’s broader work by drawing on capacities in other departments to support aid programmes’.

It also recommended that the UK take further steps to ensure that domestic and foreign policies in areas like defence and migration support its development work, as well as doing more to monitor these efforts. Monitoring is an area where the UK’s performance has not improved since 2010.

The Review was satisfied that the UK has fully implemented 15 out of 19 recommendations from the 2010 Review, including putting a stronger emphasis on producing more, and providing better evidence about how to achieve the best value for money.

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