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UK overseas aid response ‘sharply curtailed’ due to spending on refugees in the UK

A report claims that the UK’s response to international disasters is now “very limited” because of how much money it has been spending at home.

Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI), stated that a third of Foreign Office’s aid pot was being used by the Home Office to support refugees and asylum seekers in Britain.

The rules allow for the allocation of the budget to be made within their limits. Accordingly, the first year’s costs of such persons can be considered official development assistance.

However, around PS3.5bn was being spent in the UK instead of on aid abroad as a result the “problematic” regulation.


It said that the Home Office’s shift from supporting foreign refugees in the UK to responding to emergency situations abroad was a “significant loss” to aid efficiency, and there is no incentive to reduce spending from other departments.

The ICAI stated that the UK’s response in international humanitarian emergencies was “sharply curtailed” due to the continuing limit to foreign aid. Boris Johnson reduced‘s GDP by 0.7% to 0.5%.

The report stated that “This was evident in the limited UK response to devastating floods and drought in Pakistan in August 2022. It also showed concern for the worsening drought in Horn of Africa which is expected to cause widespread famine in 2023.”

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These conclusions echo , a report from the International Development Committee. MPs earlier this month stated that the government was “shortchanging” the poorest countries of the world because the “political decision” was being made to spend money at home.

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Sarah Champion, chair of the committee, responded to the ICAI findings and called for the Foreign Office to defend aid budgets from “profligate Home Office spending”.

She stated that “this review confirms the fact that our valuable aid budget has been wasted as a result Home Office failures to keep track of asylum application backlogs, and control of costs for asylum accommodation and support contract costs,” she said.

“It’s time for the UK to take control of Home Office aid spending so we can get back to the true spirit of aid spending, spending that should target and promote the economic development of developing countries.”

Sky News reached out to the Foreign Office in order to receive a reply.


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