Recent Media Reports on UK Aid Spending

Following recent media reports about UK aid spending, we at CFID wanted to take the opportunity to shed some light on where UK aid goes, the important work it does and help to provide some clarity over these claims. You can also find the Department’s response to these claims here.

We’re proud of the work this Conservative Government has done to transform UK development spending - ensuring that every penny of taxpayer money is spent in the national interest and with value for money at the forefront of every decision – something which has been driven by the Secretary of State. Everyone at CFID knows first-hand that the Secretary of State has a keen eye for detail and, as an accountant we’ve seen the Secretary of State subject spending to the highest levels of scrutiny. Under the Secretary of State’s leadership, we’re confident that the Department is in safe and diligent hands – which are dedicated to ensuring money goes only where it needs to and in our nation’s benefit.

At last year’s Party Conference the Secretary of State said “value for money is at the heart of everything we do. Under my watch it always will be”, and we’ve seen that in practise. With a Secretary of State committed to value for money, making the business case for UK aid we’re excited about what this Conservative Government will continue to achieve for millions of people across the world.

We’ve seen this Conservative Government work hard to transform the UK aid strategy, focusing efforts on stopping wasteful programmes and position spending firmly in line with UK national interest – ending aid to countries like India.

To ensure UK aid spending is targeted and rooted firmly in our national interest, the Department’s announced its new aid strategy last year, which we welcomed, focusing on:

  • Strengthening global peace, security and governance;
  • Strengthening resilience and response to crises;
  • Promoting global prosperity;
  • Tackling extreme poverty and helping the world’s most vulnerable

We believe this is the right approach, as the Secretary of State has said before, and which we echo - whether we like it or not, if we don’t help other countries to address their problems today, they will become ours tomorrow.

Under this Government, CFID has supported the Department in its efforts to ramp up its work on jobs and pushing economic growth, investing in healthcare and vital vaccinations, whilst fighting corruption. We are proud to be in a position to support this work, whilst providing a forum for scrutiny – accountability is absolutely essential in this area to ensure every penny of UK aid is maximised and used it its full potential.

Unlike the claims made in recent media reports, DFID’s record is based in fact - investment to tackle malaria has seen deaths fall by two thirds and last year alone UK aid, alongside Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, helped to vaccinate 43.8million people against preventable diseases.

If you look at the Department’s record in a bit more detail, in 2014-2015, UK aid:

  • Helped 68.9 million people - including 35.9 million women - to gain access to financial services to help them work their way out of poverty;
  • Supported 11.0 million children in primary and lower secondary education - of whom 5.3 million were girls;
  • Supported 5.1 million births with skilled birth attendants;
  • and supported 62.9 million people, of whom 22.2 million were women, to access clean water, better sanitation or improved hygiene conditions.

However, UK aid not only helps those who need it most, it helps us here in the UK too - Britain's development programme promotes security, stability and prosperity overseas, protecting our country's stability, national security, and prosperity and the 0.7% of GNI we have committed to spending on international development goes a very long way to helping millions of people whilst safeguarding our future in our national interest.

We’re confident that money is being spent properly and where it needs to be with value for money at the forefront - we’ve seen the important work DFID does to transform lives across the world to support our own prosperity.