Britain’s foreign aid budget spends more in Britain than in poorer countries, study finds

Experts said Britain now spends more of its international development budget at home than poorer developing countries.

In fact, a substantial portion of the kitten is spent on housing refugees, mostly from Ukraine, according to the Center for Global Development (CGD).

Rishi Sunak has been criticized for cutting the foreign aid budget from 0.7% to 0.5% of national income when he was Chancellor, as well as setting a precedent by leaving the Interior Ministry and other departments using weed. and the rules could be extended. counts as a help.

The UK’s aid budget is around £ 11bn, of which around £ 4bn goes to multilateral institutions, including the World Bank.

Of the remaining £ 7bn administered directly by the UK, more than half will be spent domestically this year, including around £ 3bn on refugee accommodation, according to an analysis by the CGD.

Although the UK is allowed to calculate the costs of welcoming refugees as official development assistance (ODA) according to internationally agreed rules, it is one of the few countries – and the only one in the G7 – to cover all costs for Ukrainian refugees. to fund the current aid budget, the Washington and London-based think tank said.

To say that we spend 0.5% of our national income on aid becomes meaningless when so much of this kitten is spent on the family level instead of helping people who are in dire straits around the world. East.

Ranil Dissanayake, Center for Global Development

Ranil Dissanayake, CGD Policy Fellow, said, “The development budget – the money we set aside to help the world’s poorest people – is squeezed from every angle.

“Not only has it been reduced by about a third, but the sage Sunak has set a precedent as Chancellor to claim whatever other departments might come out of this plate.

“To say that we spend 0.5% of our national income on aid becomes meaningless when so much of this money is spent nationally instead of helping people in dire straits around the world. Once upon a time.

Andrew Mitchell, a prominent Conservative lawmaker who rebelled against Sunak’s aid cuts last year, has now been appointed by the Prime Minister to the Foreign Office as Minister of Development.

The appointment was seen as significant because a former international development secretary could increase pressure on Sunak to honor his promise to return to 0.7% of international aid spending by 2024-25.

However, the Prime Minister is considering freezing the budget for another two years – a savings of £ 4 billion a year – as he looks for ways to plug a multi-billion dollar fiscal black hole, The Telegraph reported. Said.

According to Stephen Durkon, professor of economic policy at Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Government, Mitchell “points out the consequences for the poor and the value of money – for now, given the way the budget is managed, they offer none. of two. “

On Wednesday he tweeted: “Aid is now only 0.3% of GNI (Gross National Income) when we consider all costs of asylum / refugee and other spending programs for Ukraine within the UK. This is now compared to before 1997. “I am less”.

He blamed the Home Office’s “(bad) management of housing costs in the UK” and predicted “more cuts in human spending for the African and Asian crises and less for the things the UK has built. a reputation for doing well. “

A spokesperson for the Office of Foreign Affairs, Commonwealth and Development said: “Across the government there is significant pressure on the 0.5% ODA budget due to the cost of accepting refugees from Afghanistan and from Ukraine, as well as to the wider migration challenges.The number of refugees arriving during the period is uncertain, so there are no fixed costs.

“We are one of the largest aid donors in the world, we have spent over £ 11 billion on aid in 2021 and UK aid has recently gone to those in need in the Horn of England. Africa and Pakistan “.

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