Boris Johnson announces UK aid review
2 March 2020 at 4:16 pm
The PM says the new aid policy will serve the best interests of the British people
The UK has launched the biggest review of its foreign aid policy since the end of the Cold War.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week announced a review of the UK’s foreign, defence, security and development policy, as the government looks to “grasp the opportunities of the next decade” and deliver on its priorities.
Johnson pledged to commit 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income (GNI) to international development (which dwarfs Australia’s commitment of 0.21 per cent).
He said the government will consult with outside experts to ensure the best possible outcome is reached, one which is in the best interests of the British people.
“This is a defining moment in how the UK relates to the rest of the world and we want to take this unique opportunity to reassess our priorities and our approach to delivering them,” Johnson said.
Save the Children welcomed the government’s commitment to a 0.7 per cent GNI aid spend.
Senior public affairs adviser Alastair Russell told Devex that civil society needed to be properly engaged in the process.
“We can bring a dual role: We can bring on-the-ground experience and practicalities of working around the world. But we can also represent the views of a big swath of the British public,” Russell said.
“It’s an opportunity to really define the language of Global Britain.”
This review comes two months after the PM scrapped plans to get rid of the Department for International Development and bring its functions within the Foreign Office.
Aid groups warned that abolishing the department would suggest the UK was “turning our backs on the world’s poorest people”.