To meet this commitment, the UK would need to increase ODA to sub-Saharan Africa from £1.57 billion ($2.453 billion) in 2004 to £3.955 billion ($6.177 million) in 2010.
Statement from head of state
‘I can confirm today that, even while others may use this financial crisis as an excuse to retreat from their promises to the poorest, nothing will divert the United Kingdom from keeping to our commitments to the Millennium Development Goals and to our promises of development and aid.’
GORDON BROWN 31 MARCH 2009 SPEECH AT ST. PAUL’S CATHEDRAL, LONDON
‘Britain has a moral responsibility to help the world’s poorest people. This is about the kind of country we want to be... That’s why the Conservatives are committed to increasing the amount of aid we give to the poorest countries to 0.7% of national income by 2013.’
DAVID CAMERON 29 MARCH 2010 ‘ON THE RECORD’ VIDEO FOR ONE VOTE 2010
Since hosting the Gleneagles Summit in 2005, the UK has been a leader in delivering on its commitments, and last year reached its target to double bilateral ODA to sub-Saharan Africa. Despite a large increase in global ODA in 2009 that raised the UK’s ODA to 0.51% of GNI, ODA for the region increased by only £240 million ($375 million). While still a significant increase, this was lower than expected and represented only one-fifth of the UK’s global increase. Large volumes of 2009 bilateral assistance are yet to be allocated and may alter the final figures once reported. If so, ONE estimates that the UK has fallen just short of its 2009 target to be on track. An ambitious projected increase of £1.2 billion ($1.9 billion) for 2010 over the preliminary 2009 figures would, if delivered, enable it to meet 93% of the increases it promised at Gleneagles. A 2010 increase of this size would be greater than its £975 million ($1.52 billion) increase between 2004 and 2009.
In addition to its ambitious commitments, the UK deserves great credit for maintaining its budget projections during the economic crisis. Increases in the 2009 budget, reconfirmed in 2010, put it on target to be the first G8 country to meet the UN goal of spending 0.7% of national income in ODA.
The UK continues to deliver large volumes of budget support, being the second largest country contributor to sub- Saharan Africa through this channel in 2008. Global education also remains a priority, with a new pledge to increase support for the sector by £1 billion ($1.56 billion) annually between 2010/11 and 2015/16, half of which will go to Africa. The UK has also responded to the international call for efforts to support agricultural development, pledging $1.8 billion over three years for the L’Aquila Food Security Initiative. The UK continues to be a leader on aid effectiveness within the G8 and is also on track to meet its commitments to cancel debt to the world’s poorest countries. However, like the rest of the G8, the UK is failing to deliver on its commitment to 'make trade work for Africa'.
ONE looks forward to seeing the new UK government continue to show international leadership on development with regard to meeting development assistance promises, particularly to sub-Saharan Africa, and also on governance, investment and accountability reform at forthcoming G8/G20 meetings, September’s UN MDG Summit and within the EU.
Domestically, the Strategic Defence Review and Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) will set the framework for the UK’s approach to international development for the coming years. The Strategic Defence review must reinforce DFID’s role as the world’s most respected bilateral aid agency and must reconfirm the commitment to put poverty reduction at the heart of development spending. All political parties included commitments in their manifestos to introduce legislation that would place a legal duty on the government to ensure that the UK spends 0.7% of GNI on overseas assistance from 2013. Passing of such legislation should be prioritised and reflected in the detail of the CSR. A renewed commitment specifically to sub Saharan Africa is required in 2010.
Development Assistance at a glance
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