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UK ‘will STILL be one of the most generous donors of foreign aid’

UK will STILL be one of the most generous donors of foreign aid even after we slash the payouts, new figures reveal

  • The UK gave more than double the 0.31 per cent average among the G7 group
  • But Boris Johnson announced plans to lower the target to 0.5 per cent this year
  • This would still put the UK ahead of Canada, Italy, Japan and the United States 

Britain will still be one of the most generous aid donors in the G7 group even when it slashes its overseas handouts.

Germany was the only other member last year to meet the international target of spending 0.7 per cent of national income on foreign aid, figures showed yesterday.

The UK gave more than double the 0.31 per cent G7 average. 

But Boris Johnson has announced plans to lower the target to 0.5 per cent this year to help fill the black hole in the country’s finances.

If other nations keep giving at a similar level to last year, this would still put the UK ahead of Canada, Italy, Japan and the United States. But Britain would fall behind France, which gave 0.53 per cent last year.

The UK gave more than double the 0.31 per cent G7 average but Boris Johnson has announced plans to lower the target to 0.5 per cent this year to help fill the black hole in the country’s finances

Official figures revealed last week that Britain’s foreign aid budget fell by £712million to £14.5billion last year, the first fall in more than a decade.

Data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development showed how this compares to other nations.

The US is the world’s largest aid donor in cash terms, but its £27.7billion contribution is just 0.17 per cent of national income. Britain has slipped one place to sixth in the OECD table of 29 countries on its Development Assistance Committee.

Sweden, at 1.14 per cent, is top, followed by Norway on 1.11 per cent, Luxembourg on 1.02 per cent and Germany and Denmark spending 0.73 per cent each. 

In comparison, Australia spent 0.19 per cent of national income on aid, with Italy on 0.22 per cent and Japan and Canada on 0.31 per cent.

In total, 29 donors gave £125.7billion in aid, an all-time high. Britain gave around £1 in every £9. Turkey, not a DAC member, gave 1.12 per cent. 

Angel Gurria, OECD secretary-general, urged leaders to ‘help developing countries with vaccine distribution, with hospital services and to support the world’s most vulnerable people’s incomes… to build a truly global recovery’.

Around £1.4billion of the UK aid budget last year was spent on tackling Covid. 

Ministers said they would change the law to lower the spending target from 0.7 to 0.5 per cent, cutting handouts to around £10billion.

But the Mail revealed last month the budget may be reduced for only one year to avoid new legislation that may be voted down in Parliament.

In March’s foreign policy review, Mr Johnson committed a return to 0.7 per cent ‘when the fiscal situation allows’.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk