New statistics reveal true picture of UK aid spending

Published on 5 April 2023

The UK Government has released the latest Statistics on International Development, revealing how the UK spent its Official Development Assistance (ODA) budget last year.

Today’s statistics follow the review from ICAI, the UK aid watchdog, published last week (29 March) examining UK aid spent on refugees and asylum-seekers in the UK, which it estimates to be around £3.5 billion in 2022, approximately one third of the UK’s total aid spend that year.

In response to the Statistics for International Development for 2022, Professor Melissa Leach, Director of the Institute of Development Studies, said:

“Shamefully at a time of growing global need, today’s statistics reveal that the true UK aid spend overseas has been eroded even further to just 0.36 percent of gross national income. This is due to the vast amount of UK aid going to the Home Office to house refugees in the UK. We must support refugees and those who have reached the UK fleeing danger and persecution but that is not the core purpose of the Official Development Assistance (ODA) budget, which is intended for supporting the economic development and welfare of countries with the lowest incomes.

“Sadly, this leaves many vital international research and development programmes on global health, extreme poverty and women and girls unfunded, and the UK’s reputation as a reliable international partner damaged even further.  We hope the FCDO recognise the true value of development and international research to tackle our shared global challenges, and urgently restores our financial contribution.”

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