Devex recently reported that the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has not yet finalized internal allocations for its budget for FY2022/23.
The overall budget envelope for the FCDO was set by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his 2021 Comprehensive Spending Review at £11.1 billion (US$14.3 billion) for FY2022/23 (for both ODA and non-ODA spending). Normally, funding allocations to core thematic and geographic departments within the FCDO are decided by April the latest. However, Devex noted that the FCDO is struggling to finalize these internal allocations.
Part of the reason for the delay could be the failure of the FCDO to finalize its policy priorities, particularly in international development. The UK’s long-awaited International Development Strategy, which has been drawn up by the FCDO, was initially scheduled for release last year but remains unpublished. The Russian invasion of Ukraine in March was cited as the latest reason for the delay, as Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, set about re-writing the strategy in light of the geopolitical shift.
Devex noted that there are concerns that following the recent UK local elections on May 5, 2022, Prime Minister Boris Johnson may reshuffle the cabinet reshuffle, potentially causing further delays in the strategy's publication.
The UK NGO community has called for the publication of the International Development Strategy as soon as possible, especially in light of the currently reduced ODA budget and the need for transparency and clarity over the UK’s priorities moving forward.