UK parliamentary report estimates ODA budget will drop by US$4.8 billion in 2021 to total US$14.6 billion

The UK parliament released a new report - ‘Reducing the UK’s aid spending in 2021’ - which estimates that the total official development assistance (ODA) budget for the UK will be £10.9 billion (US$14.6 billion) in 2021 compared to £14.5 billion (US$19.5 billion) in 2020.

The budget has been reduced as a result of the government’s decision to reduce its ODA from 0.7% of UK gross national income to 0.5%. The estimate is based on the UK government’s independent Office for Budget Responsibility’s March 2021 economic forecasts and is larger than the £10.0 billion (US$13.8 billion) amount set out by the UK Chancellor in his 2020 Comprehensive Spending Review.

The report notes also that in April 2021, the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) announced how it would spend its £8.1 billion (US$ 10.9 billion) ODA budget in 2020 - 2021. The funding is allocated around seven key policy priorities; it includes £1.3 billion (US$ 1.7 billion) to address the COVID-19 pandemic and support global health resilience and £0.9 billion (US$1.2 billion) for humanitarian preparedness and response. 

The report also notes that in September of 2021, the FCDO published its annual report, which included the plans for country-level ODA spending in 2021 - 2022. This report shows that the FCDO will allocate ODA to 39 countries and territories in 2021 - 2022. In 2019, the UK funded bilateral programs in 136 countries and territories; the former Department for International Development (DFID) funding focused on 46 countries and territories. Of those 46 countries which received bilateral ODA in 2019, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Ukraine, and Eritrea are currently not listed as receiving ODA from the FCDO in 2021 - 2022.

The report notes that the FCDO emphasizes that funding allocations have not been finalized yet.

Report - UK Parliament Website