Responding to the report from the National Audit Office into how different parts of Government spend the UK’s aid budget, Christian Aid’s Head of Advocacy, Laura Taylor, said:
“This report again confirms the vast majority of UK overseas aid is being spent well and helping change lives and improve communities around the world.
“It shows that the Department for International Development is a world-leader when it comes to the transparency and efficiency of aid spending and has been very focused on ensuring that UK Aid works as hard as possible to improve the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable.
“But the government’s strategy, to increase to 30% by 2020 the amount of UK aid managed by departments other than DFID, is clearly risky. Today’s report reveals that these departments are less experienced and less transparent in using aid money.
“There is a danger that public trust is undermined by a government policy that does not hold all aid spending to the same set of standards.
“Therefore increases to other government departments such as the Foreign Office should be frozen until they can prove they meet the same high standards in terms of quality and transparency as DFID.
“This should give them time to focus on the quality of their aid spending before the quantity they are asked to spend increases too significantly, and will help to ensure that aid is spent on what matters most – improving the lives of the poorest people in the world. .
Notes to Editors:
1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 40 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.
2. Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended: this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, sustainably. Our strategy document Partnership for Change (http://www.christianaid.org.uk/images/partnership-for-change-summary.pdf) explains how we set about this task.
3. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development. Further details at http://actalliance.org
4. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_newswire
5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk