New report finds billions of UK Aid failing to reduce poverty

New report finds billions of UK Aid failing to reduce poverty

A new report has found that billions of UK Aid is failing to reduce poverty.

The One Campaign, an organisation founded by singer and philanthropist Bono, has found that the Aid coming from Britain is being distributed poorly and is failing to reduce poverty.

The organisation's Real Aid Index has published a breakdown of how each department in the UK, that spends significant amounts of aid, is performing. This list includes DFID, BEIS and the Home Office.

The report found that DFID performed the best, scoring green in everything. Romilly Greenhill, ONE’s UK Director said this was ‘heartening’ seeing as they “are responsible for the lion’s share of UK aid.”

However, the other results were less positive. There is £1.5 billion of UK aid spent with little transparency. While UK aid is officially untied, at least £475 million of aid comes with strings attached meaning it has to be spent through UK institutions.

Across the developing world there is a major problem with aid reaching the poorest and most in need places. Two departments, BEIS and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), spend very little aid in the world’s poorest and most fragile countries.

The Real Aid Index also found that Cross-Government Funds are also inefficient at targeting poverty. The largest recipients of support from the Prosperity Fund, a £1.2 billion cross-government fund set up to support inclusive growth, with a ‘secondary benefit’ to UK business, are middle income countries.

If this money was put towards the least developed countries it could fund pre-primary, primary and lower-secondary education for over 1.3 million children for a year, and access to basic health care and nutrition for more than 1.7 million people for a year.

Romilly Greenhill added:

“Until all UK aid is ‘real aid’, we will not stop in holding the UK Government to account for how they spend this precious resource.”

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