Thank you for contacting me about ONE’s Campaign for Real Aid.
Like you, I am proud of the excellent results our aid budget makes possible in helping millions of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. For example, between April 2015 and March 2018, DFID reached 26.8 million people with humanitarian assistance, supported 11.4 million children to gain a decent education, and supported 40.3 million people to access clean water and/or better sanitation.
Whether it’s stepping up our support for desperate Syrian refugees, tackling the lethal legacy of landmines or giving life-saving aid to stop people dying of hunger in East Africa, UK aid is keeping Britain safe while helping the world’s poorest stand on their own two feet.
I agree we need to ensure that our aid budget is spent in the best way possible. This is not only vital for those that UK aid helps, but also for British taxpayers who want their money spent in the most cost-effective ways and need the highest levels of transparency so that they can see that best value is being achieved. UK aid is used to achieve the Global Goals and the priorities set out in the 2015 UK Aid Strategy, to create a safer, healthier and more prosperous world for us all, regardless of which department is responsible for the spending. Efficiency and value for money are at the centre of all this work.
Poverty reduction remains at the heart of UK aid spending and the Government remains committed to the 0.7 per cent target and to untied aid. The challenges the world faces are changing and by working across government we can make use of a greater range of skills and expertise to deliver on our development goals. All UK official development assistance (ODA) spend meets the international ODA rules and DFID experts provide advice to the cross-government funds and departments to ensure this criteria is understood and met.
As the Spending Review approaches, the Government remains committed to improving the lives of the world’s poorest and marginalised, and Ministers continue to work to ensure all UK aid spending meets the highest standards of efficiency and transparency.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Craig Whittaker MP