George Osbourne re-affirms development spending will support world’s poor while serving national interest

New aid strategy published alongside the government’s Strategic Defence and Security Review.

UK Aid Spending

UK Chancellor George Osbourne and Secretary of State for International Development, Justine Greening have announced today (23 November) that Britain’s aid spending will be restructured to tackle some of today’s biggest global challenges including mass migration, disease, the threat of terrorism and global climate change.

The new strategy demonstrates how serving Britain’s interests and tackling poverty are linked, and shows how investing in overseas aid can achieve both goals.

Ahead of this week’s Spending Review, the government has published its new aid strategy, in which it re-affirms its commitment to spending 0.7% of national income on official development assistance (ODA), and setting out how development spending will meet Britain’s moral obligation to the world’s poorest while also supporting its national interest.

The strategy will fulfil the government’s manifesto commitments and, on priorities such as vaccines, malaria and family planning, will commit to delivering ambitious outcomes which go beyond existing commitments.

The new document, UK aid: tackling global challenges in the national interest, also outlines how the Britsh government will take further steps to build on the action taken over the last Parliament to cut waste, introduce greater transparency and subject aid to robust independent scrutiny.

Included in today’s announcement are:

  • a new £1 billion commitment – over five years – to global public health (the “Ross Fund”) which will fund work to tackle the most dangerous diseases, including malaria
  • the allocation of 50% of DFID’s budget to fragile states and regions in every year of this Parliament
  • expansion of the cross-government Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF), supporting the international work of the National Security Council
  • a new £500 million ODA crisis reserve to allow greater flexibility to respond to emerging crises, such as the movement of Syrian refugees

In a joint statement, George Osborne and Justine Greening said:

We believe this fundamental shift in how we use 0.7% of our national income will show there is no distinction between reducing poverty, tackling global challenges and serving our national interest – all are inextricably linked.

We will ensure that every penny of money spent delivers value for taxpayers, and projects that do not will be cancelled.

With this new strategy, Britain can be proud to be a country that not only meets its responsibilities to the world’s poorest, but in doing so best serves and protects its own security and interests.