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Foreign Secretary tells Committee that ODA country allocations may not be released until 2022

22 April 2021

The International Development Committee (IDC) held an evidence session with Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and FCDO’s Permanent-Under Secretary Sir Philip Barton on Thursday morning. It followed the publication of ODA thematic allocations tabled in a Written Ministerial Statement late Wednesday afternoon.

The Foreign Secretary told the IDC that aid allocations by country may not come until 2022. When probed on clarity on funding for programmes, the Foreign Secretary was unable to tell the IDC when this information will be made public. He also dismissed comments that the FCDO has not been engaging with NGOs on the aid cuts.

The Foreign Secretary stated that there is no legal requirement on the Government for a debate or vote in the House of Commons on the aid cuts.

Speaking after the evidence session, International Development Committee Chair, Sarah Champion MP, said:

“The Foreign Secretary’s assertion that we need to wait until 2022 for any clarity on country allocations is totally unacceptable. This is people’s futures hanging in the balance, projects can’t just pause for 18 months waiting for decisions: they need certainty now.

“Ministers have said repeatedly we will return to 0.7% “when the fiscal situation allows”, but when the Foreign Secretary was pressed on what his criteria was for a return, he failed to give a satisfactory answer. With country allocations likely to now come out two years after the aid cut was announced, it appears that the Government is making no real effort to return to 0.7% any time soon.

“The aid sector must have immediate clarity on programmes and country allocations. I can think of no other sector that would be treated with this disregard for their financial planning. By dragging its feet on releasing this information the Government shows an appalling level of disrespect to the aid sector, who are today facing horrific practical implications and impossibly difficult choices just because they haven’t been given the certainty they deserve .”

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