UK should not be too hasty to meet UN international aid target, warn MPs

From Aid | The Guardian Thu Jan 31 2013, 06:00:01

Select committee says government should miss 0.7% target rather than make poor decisions in order to hit it

Britain is in danger of wasting hundreds of millions of pounds in inefficient aid spending as the government seeks to meet a UN target by the end of this year, a committee of MPs will warn. The government should be prepared to miss the UN target, which stipulates that 0.7% of gross national income (GNI) should be spent on aid by the end of this year, in order to avoid making poor decisions, according to the commons international development select committee.

In a report on the accounts of the department for international development (DFID), the committee warns that the government is increasing the funds it sends to multilateral organisations, such as the UN and the World Bank, which have higher administrative costs.

The report says that in 2011-12 around two-thirds of the department's spending was channelled to multilateral organisations, while funding to individual governments has fallen. The department "rescheduled" payments of £450m planned for 2012, including a payment of £300m to the World Bank, in order to meet Britain's Official Development Assistance target by the end of 2011.

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