FCDO annual report: UK aid spending yet to recover from four years of devastating cuts – Bond reacts

Today, Monday 17 July, the Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) released its Annual Report & Accounts for 2022–23. 

The report contains forward-looking budgets for the current financial year (2023-24) and projected budgets for 2024-25 as well as reported figures for UK aid spending for 2022-23.  

Comparing the 2022-23 spending report with the 2021-22 report, it reveals that:  

  • From 2021-23 bilateral aid to:
  • Africa declined by 17% 
  • Indo-Pacific fell by 25% 
  • MENA fell by 9%, which includes a 13% cut to Afghanistan 
  • Aid to Ukraine increased by 103%
  • Overall bilateral aid spending decreased by 9%, despite massive increases for Ukraine 
  • Even though spending will increase to African countries from 2024, this will still be less than what was spent in 2020/21 and prior to the UK aid budget cuts
  • ODA spend through British Investment Partnerships is projected to increase by 160% between 22-23 and 24-25 

In reaction to the report, Stephanie Draper, Chief Executive of Bond, the UK network for NGOs, said:  

It is really encouraging to see this year’s annual report has been published on time with next year’s budget allocations and a breakdown by individual countries included. This is an improvement from last year, when the report was published without any forecasts for the coming year.

Whilst Bond welcomes planned increases to UK aid spending for Afghanistan, Yemen and countries in Africa from 2024, spending in these regions remains below levels for 2020 and is yet to recover from four years of devastating cuts.

Continued high levels of uncontrolled UK aid spending in the UK by the Home Office are restricting efforts to scale up spending on poverty reduction, humanitarian crises and climate change. While significant increases in UK aid spending through British International Investment (BII) is also not justified by its questionable development impact.

Looking forward, the government must urgently stop UK aid being absorbed by ballooning domestic costs and questionable private investments and instead re-prioritise spending to address the root causes of poverty and inequality in lower-income countries and respond to humanitarian crises around the world.


Notes for editors

  • Bond is the UK network for organisations working in international development. Bond unites and supports a diverse network of nearly 400 civil society organisations from across the UK, and allies to help eradicate global poverty, inequality and injustice.  
  • For further information or interviews please contact Jess Salter at [email protected] or call 07392972411.