Ministers appear disturbingly complacent about how some Whitehall departments are spending UK aid, Christian Aid warned today, after the government rejected many of MPs’ recommendations for improving UK support to other countries.
“The UK's international reputation on tackling poverty is widely recognised as strong but the calibre and quality of our aid is under threat. We want to see high standards across the board,” said Christine Allen, Director of Policy & Advocacy at Christian Aid.
She was speaking after the UK government published its official response to a scathing report by MPs this summer
, in which they warned about UK aid money increasingly being spent by a growing range of government departments, to achieve an expanding array of goals, without adequate oversight or accountability.
“It is disturbing that ministers appear not to recognise this as a problem – they seem worryingly complacent,” added Ms Allen.
“For the sake of people living in poverty, as well as for UK taxpayers, the government should reassert that the Department for International Development must have oversight of all aid spending across government, to ensure a strong focus on poverty and effectiveness.
“In the upcoming Spending Review, the government must resist any opportunistic ‘aid grabs’ by other departments, to avoid further jeopardising the high standards for which UK aid is known. Our aid is to tackle poverty - it’s morally repugnant to turn it into a political football.”