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Foreign and Development Secretary writes to IDC following recent evidence session

23 February 2021

Further to the evidence session held on 26th January with the Foreign and Development Secretary, Dominic Raab, he has written to the IDC following up on a number of points

Among other issues, Mr Raab stated:

  • The Government is working through what the total ODA reductions mean for nutrition spend and will advise the IDC on any implications this may cause for any new nutrition commitment.
  • During the evidence session, the IDC raised concern relating to recent reports that the Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC) Group is not directing investment to tackling poverty. Mr Raab has stated in his letter that the policy and ethical framework for CDC investments is approved by the Foreign Secretary and the CDC’s board. Its five-year strategy is also agreed with the FCDO, and Mr Raab assures the IDC that investments are actively monitored and managed to ensure they deliver against impact objectives.
  • In response to further information on the FCDO’s legal obligations for ODA spend via multilaterals, and spending via contracts and grants, Mr Raab explains that the department is currently undertaking a business planning process assessing and reviewing the obligations.
  • He states that the UK is still contributing to EU development programmes under the 2014-2020 EU budget and for the European Development Fund. He states the UK will not be contributing to the next EU budget (2021-2027), and future spending reviews will determine how this ODA is prioritised.
  • Mr Raab outlines the measures being undertaken by the Government to support efforts to end FGM, including working with activists, communities and experts. He assures the IDC that support to end FGM is integrated into bilateral programmes in Africa focused on women’s and girls’ rights, education, and violence against women and girls.

The Committee will continue to actively monitor and scrutinise the impact of cuts to UK aid spending. It eagerly awaits the publication of the Integrated Review and its implications for the future direction of UK aid spending.

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