Britain’s Aid Spending the Highest in Europe

Matthew Holehouse, Telegraph (London), April 14, 2014

Britain hiked its aid spending by more than any other country in Europe last year, figures show.

Foreign aid soared by 28 per cent last year, meaning the UK hit its target of spending 0.7 per cent of GDP on overseas development.

It left Britain with the second most generous aid budget in the world, outstripped only by the United States, and it came as a series of developed nations cut back on their aid spending.

The figures will reignite concerns among Tory MPs that the aid budget is ill-directed and has ballooned at the expense of other Whitehall departments.

Britain spent £10.6 billion on official development assistance in 2013, up from £8.3 billion in 2012, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development–a hike of 27.8 per cent.

It leaves Britain’s aid budget second only to the United States, which spent £18.9 billion on aid, with an increase of only 1.3 per cent on the previous year.

The increase was the biggest in the European Union and outstripped only by Japan, which expanded its debt forgiveness programme; Turkey, which has poured millions into the Syrian crisis on its border; and the UAE, which took “exceptional measures” to support Egypt.

Britain hit David Cameron’s target of spending 0.7 per cent of GDP on aid for the first time and is the only major power to do so, joining the Nordic states of Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

By contrast the US spent 0.19 per cent, Spain 0.16 per cent, Germany 0.38 per cent, France 0.41 per cent and Russia 0.03 per cent.

Meanwhile, Australia, Canadia, France, the Netherlands and Portugal cut their aid spending, in the latter’s case by 20 per cent.

The sustained spending on aid has produced disquiet among ministers struggling to make steep cuts. The Foreign Office budget is due to halve by 2015-16.

Justine Greening, the development secretary, has privately warned colleagues they face an investigation by the aid watchdog if their departments misuse overseas aid budgets. Some ministers have attempted to re-label their departments’ spending as aid in order to protect it from cuts, Whitehall sources say.

Ms Greening is understood to be particularly frustrated by Ed Davey’s energy department’s decision to spend hundreds of millions of pounds on projects to cut carbon emissions in middle income countries.

Tobias Ellwood, the Prime Minister’s envoy to Nato, has urged Mr Cameron to follow the example of Nordic countries by allowing some defence spending to count as aid. Such a move would soften the blow of cuts to the MoD and take into account the fact that the Army and Royal Navy are often called on for disaster relief or to aid state-building.

The figures came in a year when OECD spending on aid reached a record high of £80 billion, meaning Britain provides one pound in eight.

However, the OECD said it was alarmed that spending in sub-Saharan Africa has fallen by four per cent, while middle income states such as Mexico, China, India and Uzbekistan will enjoy year-on-year increases of five per cent until 2017, often in the form of soft loans.

“It is heartening to see governments increasing their development aid budgets again, despite the financial constraints they are currently facing,” said Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary-General.

“However, assistance to some of the neediest countries continues to fall, which is a serious concern.”

Where Britain’s aid money goes

Department for Culture Media and Sport

Program to make PE lessons more “meaningful and exciting” in 20 countries including Malaysia, South Africa, Brazil and Turkey, following London 2012 Olympics.

Cost: £8.35m over four years

Department of Energy and Climate Change

Program to reduce “greenhouse gas emissions from cattle ranching” in Colombia.

Cost: £15m over four years

Department of Energy and Climate Change

Renewable energy and low-carbon transport projects in Chile, India, Nigeria and Turkey.

Cost: £75m.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Britain contributes to Europeaid, the EU’s aid program. Projects including equipping border guards in Belarus, a dictatorship, and funding a waterpark in Morocco.

Cost: £1bn a year

Department for International Development

Yegna, a girlband dubbed the Ethiopian ‘Spice Girls’, is intended to empower teenage girls through song.

Cost: £3.8m a year.

Department for International Development

Trademark Southern Africa, intended to boost commerce, was swiftly shut down by Mrs Greening after watchdog found officials earning more than £100,000 and cash being administered by Zimbabwean regime.

Cost: £100m.


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  • 4321realist

    “Britain’s Aid Spending the Highest in Europe”

    They’re stupidly cruising for big trouble as the shaky world economy continues to be a house of cards.

    And so is the US.

  • sbuffalonative

    Man, this chart makes me angry.

    Whenever c-span discusses government spending, people call in and complain about foreign aid.

    The guest expert always dismisses the comment by saying, ‘foreign aid is only 1% of the US budget’. That’s supposed to end the discussion.

    I don’t care if it’s only 1%. I don’t care if it’s .5%.

    This is why we can’t get our debt down. 1% here, 1% here. Because it’s so small, no one thinks it’s important to cut.

  • If “aid” (a progessive’s word for sure) were tied to keeping the third worlders on their turf, then it would be money well spent. Otherwise, it’s just white guilt taking monetary form. What next? Reparations for colonialism? The retards running Western governments these days would probably like that.

    • So CAL Snowman

      Isn’t “aid” essentially reparations for colonialism?

      • Yes, but it hasn’t stopped the Caribbean islands from demanding reparations separate from and in addition to aid. Blacks know how to run a good con and more gibsmedat under a different name would suit them just fine.

  • Extropico

    These numbers on Amerikan foreign aid are preposterous peculation. Most of Amerika’s foreign aid is stealth transfers contained within the Defense, Spy and State Department budgets.

    • Rhialto

      Query: Is “peculation” a typo? Either “peculation” or “speculation” would be correct. The numbers are a guess, speculation, and the Feds are misusing the taxpayers’ money, peculation.

    • Don’t forget the money we spend propping up corrupt Middle Eastern theocracies. I’ll let you guess which ones.

  • Magician

    Japan is spending A LOT….. Saudi Arabia should spend just as much as Germany or Japan spends.

    • shmo123

      My thoughts exactly. But Arabs are too busying spending money on jihad, garishly decorated palaces with gold plated toilet seats, and frequent trips to Europe to indulge in prostitutes and liquor. The idea of charitable donations–particularly to non-Muslims– seems completely alien to them.

  • Winston_Jack

    ‘Britain’s Aid Spending The Highest In Europe’

    And the number of natives in the country using emergency food banks is also the highest ever.


    By the look of the photos, most of the ones affected are White Britons.

    Their treasonous government is too busy supporting the hoards of turd worlders they’re importing to displace them.

    At this rate there soon won’t be anyone left to pay for all this nonsense. THEN perhaps Britain can then start to become British…

    (Moderator, please disregard earlier posts. Thanks.)

    • boot70

      They have destroyed what was once the working class over here,we are now peasants who because of positive discrimination we line up behind the mass colonisers for jobs and housing,they are now in the process of destroying the middle class.
      Our country is on the verge of being lost forever,London and many other major cities have and are being ethnically cleansed of whites,the faster people are waking up and saying no more the traitors/infiltrators in fraudulent government are speeding up the colonisation.
      Half a million colonisers pour in annually whilst quarter of a million or so Brits leave,it is only a matter of time before we are a minority God help our children,we will end up like South Africa which is exactly what they set out to do.

      • David Ashton

        People are waking up, late in the English fashion but decisively in the end.

  • italian guy

    The entire Western world spent trillions of Euros/Dollars for decades trying to uplift the third world, yet the only thing that has been accomplished is making them breed uncontrollably and make it worse for everyone, even after all that if you ask to any liberal of any nationality the solution is to throw more money to the third world! They are not even clever, you never hear about new solutions or trying to see the problem from another perspective, it’s always White people fault and we need to give them more money because we are evil racists/ colonialism/ whatever they feel like to guilt-tripping Whites.

  • IstvanIN

    They have massive unemployment among their own youth yet they waste money on foreigners! Take that money and send the invaders own, how about that?

  • Hallie Eva

    This is my favorite: Yegna, a girlband dubbed the Ethiopian ‘Spice Girls’, is intended to empower teenage girls through song. Cost: £3.8m a year.

    What would the world be without an Ethopian Spice Girl group? All for the remarkably low, bargain basement price of only £3.8m a year. Thank you Britain!

  • Einsatzgrenadier

    The only kind of foreign aid third world countries should be receiving are birth control and free abortion services. Otherwise, we’re perpetuating the cycle of dependency by subsidizing excess population growth. Sending them a box of condoms, instead of free money, would do far more good because it would encourage the non-whites to take responsibility for their actions. The third world would solve so many of its problems by just learning how to breed both responsibly and eugenically.

  • James Bro

    Giving away money when you indeed need it yourself is like pooping in your hat; giving it to people who hate you and want to see your demise is putting the hat on your head.