Yesterday, in a written Ministerial Statement on Official Development Assistance (ODA), the government revealed that there would now be an additional £1 billion this year and £1.5 billion next year in UK aid to cover the Home Office’s UK refugee costs. However, the additional funding will be insufficient to cover the estimated £3 billion the Home Office is likely to need for this year alone. It is therefore clear the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) will still need to make further savings from its programming to cover the shortfall.
Today, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) has also published its final statistics report on how UK aid was spent in 2021. This annual publication provides an overview of UK Official Development Assistance (ODA) spend in calendar year 2021 and has revealed that the UK is now spending more UK aid in the UK on refugee costs than on health, humanitarian assistance, education or water and sanitation.
In response to both the ministerial statement and the publication of the Statistics on International Development, Simon Starling, director of policy, advocacy and research, at Bond the UK network for INGOs said:
“Yet again, the government looks set to force further cuts to UK aid, which will mean more programmes delivering lifesaving healthcare, clean water and sanitation, and shelter will come to an end. Over the last 3 years, UK aid has already been slashed by £3bn because this government chose to balance its books on the backs of marginalised communities. With a further £1.7bn of cuts around the corner, it is becoming impossible for the government to honour its commitments.
“People already facing poverty, climate change and famine are paying the price for the increase in the Home Office’s UK-based refugee costs. The additional resources to cover the costs of hosting refugees in the UK are welcome but insufficient. It is shocking that we are now spending more UK aid on this rather than on health, humanitarian assistance, education or water and sanitation.
“The Chancellor and Foreign Secretary must urgently refocus UK aid on addressing poverty internationally and develop a plan to return to spending 0.7% of GNI on UK aid.”
Notes to editor:
- Bond is the UK network for organisations working in international development. Bond unites and supports a diverse network of over 400 civil society organisations from across the UK, and allies to help eradicate global poverty, inequality and injustice.
- The FCDO’s report, Statistics on International Development: final UK aid spend 2021, can be found here
- The Written Ministerial Statement on Official Development Assistance (ODA) can be found here. This statement from James Cleverly, the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, sets out what the Autumn Statement 2022 means for our ODA spending.
- For further information or interviews please contact Maryam Mohsin at [email protected] or 07555 336029