The British Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee has published a report warning the government against focusing development aid on high-risk countries, suggesting that it would lead to more aid resources being lost to corruption.
The report was a response to the announcement by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) regarding its plans to direct aid flows more strongly towards fragile countries such as Somalia and Pakistan.
The document also argued that the decision to direct a larger share of aid through multilateral institutions would make aid flows more vulnerable to fraud, as this means that the British government would have reduced control over how the money is spent and how funded projects are monitored.
International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell responded to the report highlighting that the current government has a great concern about corruption related to development, and that it has taken measures to minimize it by conditioning aid spending on project results and by stablishing an independent aid watchdog to monitor finances in the development assistance department.
International civil society organizations such as Save the Children, Mango and Transparency International UK have also reacted critically to the report and expressed concern about the risk that it would keep the government from targeting aid to the countries most in need.
Read the full article UK overseas aid lost to fraud ‘could rise’ on bbc.co.uk. A press release about Mango’s and Transparency International UK’s opinion on the report is available on transparency.org.uk. The picture shown above is also featured in the article by BBC.