Bond statement in reaction to updated ICAI review on UK aid to refugees in the UK

Today, Wednesday 6 September, The Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) has released its updated review on UK aid to refugees in the UK.

ICAI has concluded that following the implementation of the Illegal Migration Act, Home Office asylum costs could no longer be counted as aid.

The Home Office is not yet using the powers of the Act, designed to stop those arriving via illegal routes such as small boats from remaining in the UK. Today’s ICAI update examines the potential implications of the Act for whether the Home Office can report its costs for hosting arrivals as Official Development Assistance (ODA).

In reaction to the updated review, Gideon Rabinowitz, Director of Policy and Advocacy at Bond, the UK network for NGOs, said: 

The inhumane Illegal Migration Act fails in our responsibilities towards asylum-seekers and the costs associated with it should not be counted against the UK’s aid budget. Using UK aid to cover our domestic spending is ineffective and has led to devastating cuts to programmes supporting millions of people in lower-income countries. The Home Office must no longer be allowed to raid the UK aid budget to cover its own costs.

The Home Secretary pushed through the Illegal Migration Act, and it should be the Home Office’s responsibility to pick up the bill.


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.
  • The Independent Commission for Aid Impact works to improve the quality of UK development assistance through robust, independent scrutiny.
  • For further information or interviews please contact Jess Salter at [email protected] or call 07392972411.