Posted by: APO | 4 October 2007

UK is second largest donor in the world for the first time

4 OCTOBER 2007



UK is second largest donor in the world for the first time


New figures published today by the Department for International Development show that public spending on development increased by 12 per cent – £808 million – between 2005/06 and 2006/07 to £7,487 million, the highest UK figure on record and it confirms the UK as the second largest donor in the world behind the US.


Statistics on International Development 2006/07, published by DFID today, also shows that the UK provided £6,770 million as Official Development Assistance (ODA – the internationally agreed classification of aid which includes debt relief) in 2006 (calendar year).


Douglas Alexander, Secretary of State for International Development, commented:


“It’s clear that the UK is keeping its promises and that aid for development is increasing. Every year our aid helps to lift around 3 million people permanently out of poverty and empowers poor countries to provide basic services such as health and education that we commonly take for granted.”


DFID’s aid programme accounted for £4,923 million of the development spending total, up from £4,464 million in 2005/06. Bilateral assistance in 2006/07 was the major expenditure at £2,562 million (52%), multilateral assistance was £2,126 million (43%) and the remaining £234 million (5%) was spent on administration.


DFID’s aid over the past ten years has helped to:


  • put more children into primary school – 17 million more in Bangladesh, six million in Ethiopia and over five million in Afghanistan;
  • fund 700 more nurses in Malawi and 3,000 health workers in Uganda;
  • bring clean water to over 2.5 million people in India, Pakistan and Iraq;
  • save five million lives by immunising against common diseases through the International Finance Facility for Immunisation; and
  • successfully support the first democratic elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo.


In Africa, total UK expenditure on development (GPEX) rose to £2,992 million in 2006/07, an increase of £569 million or 23 percent on 2005/06.


The UK is committed to meeting the United Nation’s target of spending 0.7% of the Gross National Income (GNI) on aid by 2013, ahead of the agreed European target of 2015.


Mr Alexander concluded:


“We are committed to increasing our aid to poor countries, but fighting poverty and promoting development is not just about aid.


“The Prime Minister has signalled a new phase for delivering on our promises built upon new global partnerships – such as the new International Health Partnership launched in August – and doing more beyond aid.


“That means promoting fair trade and encouraging economic growth that will bring jobs and prosperity as we’ve seen in India and China. And it means tackling climate change that impacts most upon the poor and helping fragile states emerge from conflict.”


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