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Covid-19 – MPs probe UK aid response and impact on aid procurement

19 April 2022

Reviews by the aid watchdog, the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI), of the government’s Covid-19 aid programmes, and the impact Covid had on wider aid procurement, will be scrutinised by Parliament’s Sub-Committee on the work of the watchdog.

Purpose of the Session

In 2021, ICAI conducted what it calls a ‘rapid review’ – a study over several months of an emerging area of UK aid spending – of the £733m UK aid response to Covid-19. It also, in December 2020, published a shorter ‘information note’ about the impact of the pandemic on the wider management of aid procurement. This evidence session will scrutinise both pieces of work.

The 2021 rapid review, The UK aid response to Covid-19 commended the UK’s contribution to vaccine development but said the government must do more to ensure that developing countries have access to vaccines. ICAI said the initial aid response was ‘strong’ but that the government’s later efforts were hampered by reductions in the aid budget from 0.7% of gross national income to 0.5%.

The December 2020 information note, UK aid spending during Covid-19: management of procurement through suppliers said the government was in a better position to manage the impact of Covid-19 on supply chains thanks to earlier improvements in aid procurement. ICAI concluded there was no ‘major disruption’ in the supplier market but said cuts to the overall UK aid programme may have made long-term development impacts ‘inevitable.’

These conclusions will be scrutinised by the International Development Sub-Committee on the work of the Independent Commission for Aid Impact through a question-and-answer session.


Wednesday 20 April 2022, Committee Room 16, Palace

At 10.00am

  • Sir Hugh Bayley, Commissioner, ICAI
  • Nigel Thornton, Review Team Lead, ICAI, and Director, Agulhas (a research and strategy consultancy working to ICAI)

At 10.45am

  • Catherine Nettleton, Additional Director – Covid-19, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO)
  • Gareth Nugent, Chief Commercial Officer, FCDO

Further information

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