The Chancellor of the Exchequer and Secretary of State for International Development have launched the UK’s new aid strategy - UK aid: tackling global challenges in the national interest. The strategy, which was published alongside the National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015, sets out a cross-government approach to Official Development Assistance (ODA).
Organised under four themes - ‘Strengthening global peace, security and governance’; ‘Strengthening resilience and response to crises’; ‘Promoting global prosperity’; and ‘Tackling extreme poverty and helping the world’s most vulnerable’ - it outlines how Britain will tackle extreme poverty and in doing so protect it's own national security and interests. Notable announcements include:
- a new £1 billion commitment – over five years – to global public health (the “Ross Fund”) which will fund work to tackle the most dangerous diseases, including malaria
- the allocation of 50% of DFID’s budget to fragile states and regions in every year of this Parliament
- expansion of the cross-government Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF), supporting the international work of the National Security Council
- a new £500 million ODA crisis reserve to allow greater flexibility to respond to emerging crises, such as the movement of Syrian refugees
- a new National Security Council-led Prosperity Fund (£1.3 billion over five years) to drive forward the aim of promoting global prosperity
- investing at least £735 million in CDC (the UK’s Development Finance Institution)
- the ending of traditional general budget support programmes (unearmarked contributions to recipient countries’ budgets) in conventional aid settings; and
- efficiency savings of over £400 million by 2019-20
CFID welcomes the Government’s decision to set out a cross-government agenda for its aid spending. The strategy presents a strong argument on how reducing poverty and tackling global challenges are in our national interest. Alongside the 2015 Manifesto commitments1, it provides clear direction on how the government intends to ensure that UK aid helps those most in need, improves everyone's safety, promotes investments in jobs and delivers value for money for UK tax payers.
With the Comprehensive Spending Review now complete, the next step in the reforms will come with the publication of DFID's Bilateral Aid Review (to decide which countries we give directly to), Multilateral Aid Review (to decide which international organisations to provide our aid through) and Civil Society Partnerships Review (to decide how DFID works with charities and non-governmental organisations) in the first part of 2016.
Conservative 2015 manifesto commitments ↩
- Uphold our commitment to spend 0.7% of Gross National Income as Official Development Assistance.
- Push for new global goals to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030 and promote human development, gender equality and good governance.
- Work to prevent climate change and assist the poorest in adapting to it.
- By 2020, we will save 1.4 million children’s lives, by immunising 76 million children against killer diseases.
- Help at least 60 million people get access to clean water and sanitation, to stop terrible diseases.
- Improve nutrition for at least 50 million people, who would otherwise go hungry.
- Help at least 11 million children in the poorest countries gain a decent education.
- Lead a major new global programme to accelerate the development of vaccines and drugs to eliminate the world’s deadliest infectious diseases, while investing to save lives from malaria and work to end preventable child and maternal deaths.
- Continue to lead the response to humanitarian emergencies, and establish a means to respond rapidly to crises.
- Promote girls’ education, encourage equal access to property rights and work to achieve access to family planning for everyone who wants it.
- Continue to lead efforts to tackle violence against women and girls, end FGM and combat early and forced marriage, both at home and abroad.
- Boost growth and jobs, making it easier for people to start up businesses and trade freely with each other.
- Continue to promote the golden thread of democracy, the rule of law, property rights, a free media and open, accountable institutions.
- Insist that every government and organisation we fund meets global transparency standards.
- Boost partnerships between UK institutions and their counterparts in the developing world.
- Triple the size of the International Citizen Service.
- Double our successful Aid Match scheme.
- Help people in the UK give or lend money directly to individuals and entrepreneurs around the world.
- Expand payment by results and ensure all money to governments is clearly earmarked for specific purposes.
- Keep aid untied.
- Maintain an independent Department for International Development.
- Ensure the OECD aid rules fully reflect the importance of peace, stability and effective institutions for reducing global poverty.
- Strengthen the Commonwealth’s focus on promoting democratic values and development.
- Ensure developing countries have full access to global automatic tax information exchange systems and continue to build the capacity of tax authorities in developing countries.
- Work for peace, stability and an inclusive settlement in Syria and Iraq.
- Uphold the sovereignty, integrity and capacity of Ukraine.
- Support the government of Afghanistan in ensuring that the country remains stable and never again becomes a haven for international terrorists.
- Lead the world in tackling sexual violence in conflict.
- Help women and children who have fled violence in Syria.
- Support a democratic transition in Burma.