The Observer/Guardian has today reported on a letter sent by 23 aid agencies to the Chancellor which sets out how they believe the UK's aid budget should be spent.
The UK is a global champion for aid spending, humanitarian relief and international development. We are proud to be the only nation in the G7 to enshrine the 0.7 target in legislation and will continue our commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of gross national income on Official Development Assistance (ODA).
As the Prime Minister said in Cape Town last year, we are unashamed about the need to ensure our aid programme works for the UK, combating extreme poverty while supporting the UK’s national interest.
Reducing extreme poverty, hunger and providing clean water and sanitation are at the heart of what UK aid does, but our investment is also about tackling disease, climate change and drivers of terrorism and conflict, combating global challenges while also working in the UK’s national interest.
Our approach to international development is just one example of the work across government to protect and promote our national security, economic goals and influence.
All UK aid – spent by any government department – must meet international guidelines on what constitutes ODA. This ensures all UK aid spending promotes and specifically targets the economic development and welfare of developing countries.
There are absolutely no plans for a return to the inefficient and wasteful “tied aid” of the past.
The delivery of aid programmes by departments other than DFID has enabled the UK to leverage knowledge, skills and expertise from across government, which we need if we are serious about stopping global health pandemics, stabilising areas in conflict and boosting economic growth in the world’s poorest countries.
The Government is committed to improving the effectiveness of all aid spending and attaining maximum impact from the aid budget, and Departments are working to continually improve the effectiveness of their spend.
UK aid works. Our support has got an estimated 11 million children into school, helped around 40 million people to access clean water and sanitation, and immunised approximately 37 million children since 2015.
UK aid is helping us tackle major challenges like conflict, climate change and disease which hit the world’s poorest people the hardest.