BRITAIN increased its spending on overseas aid programmes in 2015, official data released yesterday (November 17) showed, with Pakistan and Ethiopia receiving the largest share of the money.
The Department for International Development (DfID) spent £12.1 billion ($15 billion) last year, a rise of nearly four per cent from £11.7 billion ($14.55 billion) in 2014.
The government, which has stuck to a UN pledge to spend 0.7 per cent of gross domestic product on foreign aid, has come under increasing scrutiny over how it spends its multi-billion dollar aid budget, which some lawmakers say would be better spent at home.
DfID, which operates predominantly through partner organisations, including charities, private companies and UN agencies, said the rise in the level of fraud was due to “heightened scrutiny” by the department.
According to Thursday’s figures, Pakistan had the largest share of UK aid money with £374 million, followed by Ethiopia with £339 million. These were followed by Afghanistan, Nigeria and Syria.
(Thomson Reuters Foundation)