News story

The future of UK aid

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Changing lives, delivering results: our plans to help the world's poorest people.

Today International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell announced the key outcomes of two aid reviews and set out the results that UK aid will deliver for the world’s poorest people over the next four years.

These ambitious reviews of DFID’s country programmes and funding to international organisations will make Britain’s aid budget more focused and effective.

By 2015, UK aid will:

  • secure schooling for 11 million children – more than we educate in the UK but at 2.5% of the cost
  • vaccinate more children against preventable diseases than there are people in the whole of England
  • provide access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation to more people than there are in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • save the lives of 50,000 women in pregnancy and childbirth
  • stop 250,000 newborn babies dying needlessly
  • support 13 countries to hold freer and fairer elections
  • help 10 million more women get access to modern family planning

In the foreword to a summary of the reviews - UK aid: Changing lives, delivering results - the Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “When this Coalition was formed, we made a commitment that even in these difficult economic times we would keep our promises and increase aid to help the world’s poorest people. We are proud to stand by that commitment.

“Combating poverty, disaster and conflict is in the best traditions of our country. Whether it was the campaign to abolish slavery in the 19th century, the fight against fascism in the 20th century, or campaigns like Live 8 and Make Poverty History in the 21st, the UK has a proud history of showing compassion to those who are suffering beyond our borders.”

Where we will work

We will concentrate our resources and impact in 27 countries:

Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burma, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Nepal, Nigeria, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Pakistan, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Uganda, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

We will also have three regional programmes in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean, and development relationships with three aid dependent Overseas Territories – St Helena, the Pitcairn Islands and Montserrat. And we will continue to work flexibly as and where necessary, including with the international community, to provide humanitarian assistance where it is needed.

Our bilateral programmes in the following countries will come to an end:

Angola, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Cameroon, Cambodia, China, Gambia, Indonesia, Iraq, Kosovo, Lesotho, Moldova, Niger, Russia, Serbia and Vietnam.

Some will close immediately, others will close over the next five years as the countries graduate from UK aid.

Who will we work with

Our Multilateral Aid Review took a long, hard look at 43 of the global development agencies we work with, such as the United Nations, the European Union and the World Bank. We cannot hope to solve the problems of all poor countries on our own – especially in war torn regions – which is why working through these international organisations is a vital part of the UK’s fight against poverty.

We will increase support for the most effective agencies such as UNICEF, the GAVI Alliance for vaccinations and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. Core DFID funding to four poor performing agencies will end and four further agencies will be asked to improve their effectiveness.