Billions of pounds at risk of being ‘wasted’ in foreign aid and measures needed to prevent misspend, report warns

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BILLIONS of pounds in foreign aid cash are at risk of being squandered, a report has said.

New measures are needed to prevent government departments from wasting cash, it says.

Aid Secretary Penny Mordaunt has already demanded an overhaul of how cash is handed out through international agencies
Reuters

The warning comes as the aid budget has swelled to £14 billion – with nearly £4 billion spent outside the overseas aid department.

Calls for the changes come from the Taxpayers’ Alliance as they launch their First Aid report into development cash.

The Home Office, Business department and Foreign Office are among departments that direct part of the aid budget.

The think-tank is also asking for Britain to spend more money itself rather than through international bodies like the World Bank.

Aid Secretary Penny Mordaunt has already demanded an overhaul of how cash is handed out through international agencies including the International Monetary Fund.

John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said Ministers need to “address the real effectiveness of aid spending by signing off every penny”.

He added: “We hope that our proposals will be taken on board – enthusiasts or sceptics alike – as it’s in everybody’s interests that our international aid program delivers for taxpayers.”


Claire Godfrey, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Bond, the UK network of 400 NGOs, said: “UK aid spent outside of DFID should be subject to the same level of scrutiny, abide by the same poverty and development focused aid rules, and be signed off by the Secretary of State.”

Former International Development Secretary Priti Patel last night said: “My approach of following the money, people and outcomes and a line by line review of every project to drive outcomes and value for money to support our national interest invigorated DFIDs accountability and approach to development.

“I believe that as the world is changing fast, we need to raise our game to get the most out of every pound of taxpayers’ money and champion an open, modern and innovative approach to development ready for the challenges of the 21st century.”

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