May 01st 2024

What have the UK Provisional Aid Statistics shown us?

In 2022, the UK experienced an unprecedented change in its aid spending, as it counted a third of its ODA budget on in-donor refugee costs. Following two years of aid cuts when the UK reduced its ODA to GNI ratio from 0.7% to 0.5%, the increased spending on in-donor refugee costs deepened cuts further. 
The provisional aid statistics released in April this year, outlines the latest trends.   


UK aid as a percentage of GNI was 0.58% in 2023, compared to 0.51% in 2022, an increase of £2.6 billion. Any increase to the UK aid budget is welcome, and this particular increase reflects a commitment in the 2022 Autumn Statement announcing additional ODA for 2022-2023 and 2023-2024. If the UK returned spending to 0.5% rather than maintaining at 0.58% in 2024, then it could potentially lose out on an extra £2.2 billion in ODA.


Although there was an increase in ODA in 2023, in donor refugee costs still remained high. In 2023, the UK spent £4.3 billion on in donor refugee costs, although this amounts to 28% of total UK ODA, it represents an astonishing 44% of the entire bilateral budget; , in donor refugee costs represented 38% of the bilateral budget. 


This change not only reflects a further increase on in donor refugee costs, it also reflects an increase in the share of multilateral ODA. The UK delivered 36% of its ODA via multilateral channels in 2023, a huge increase of £2.4 billion, when compared to 2022 where the UK spent 25% of its ODA via multilateral channels. The 2022 multilateral ODA share was an anomaly, as between 2017 and 2021, the UK on average spent 35% of its ODA through multilateral channels. Considering a succession of multilateral replenishments on the horizon including for Gavi, the Global Fund to Fight Aids TB and Malaria and the International Development Association, increasing the share of multilateral ODA is a wise move. 


Whilst the volume of FCDO’s bilateral ODA to Africa stayed broadly similar to the volume in 2022 (a slight decrease of 0.8 per cent, £8.5 million), the volume of FCDO’s bilateral ODA to all other regions reduced. The most notable reduction was to Asia (33% amounting to £306 million). 


We are seeing more and more humanitarian crisis arise, and so it was alarming to note that the UK spent just £888 million of bilateral ODA on humanitarian assistance in 2023, a decrease of £221 million (20%) from £1.1 billion in 2022.
Want to learn where to find these numbers and understand what this data means? Join The Advocacy Team on the 14th May for our in person ODA Training Course. More information here. 



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