Britain tops G8 nations in overseas aid says report

Britain is spending a larger proportion of national income on overseas aid than any other G8 nation, according to a report published ahead of this week's summit of the group of industrialised states.

The Accountability Report produced by this year's summit hosts Canada shows that in 2009, the UK devoted 0.52% of its GDP to aid - 11.5 billion US dollars (£7.75 billion) - with the total projected to rise to 0.6% this year.



By comparison, France spent 0.46% of national income on aid, Germany 0.35%, the US 0.2% and Italy just 0.16%.



The report found that the G8 nations - Britain, the US, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Japan and Russia - are 10 billion US dollars short of the commitment made at the Gleneagles summit in 2005 to provide an additional 50 billion dollars of aid by 2010. If inflation is taken into account, the shortfall rises to 18 billion dollars.



The UK Government is committed to increasing the proportion of GDP for aid to meet the United Nations target of 0.7% by 2013.



Chancellor George Osborne is expected to spare the Department for International Development from the cuts he will inflict on other ministries in tomorrow's Budget.



Responding to the Canadian report, International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell said: "This report represents a major step forward in international aid transparency, and will make it easier than ever before for people to hold governments to account for the promises they make on international development.



"While we should not ignore the collective progress made in lifting millions of the world's poorest out of poverty, this report shows how much still needs to be done for the G8 to meet its aid commitments.



"This Government, along with others, will honour these promises, and in the coming weeks the Prime Minister and I will be calling on other countries to do the same."



Today's report highlighted "slower than expected" progress by the European Union towards meeting its Gleneagles commitment to hit the 0.7% target by 2015. By 2009, the EU as a whole had reached 0.42%.



Meanwhile, Italy's contribution slumped from 0.29% of GDP in 2005 to 0.16% last year due to "the severe constraints of high public debt" while Japan's fell from 0.19% in 2004 to 0.18% in 2009, said the report.



Development charity ActionAid's head of G8 policy, Meredith Alexander, said that the rich nations were falling short on a pledge made at last year's summit in L'Aquila, Italy, to deliver 22 billion US dollars for agriculture in the poorer parts of the world.



A report by ActionAid last week highlighted the fact that money classified as agricultural aid had been spent on items including naval patrol boats, odour control and food processing plants and biofuel crops.



"Warm words alone don't feed empty bellies," said Ms Alexander. "Despite last year's bold pledge to fight hunger, the reality is the G8 has spent a million dollars less on food and farming last year than it did the year before.



"It's good that the G8 has recognised the key to solving the food crisis is investing in the 500 million smallholder farmers worldwide, who feed one third of humanity. But it's time for the G8 to be clear about how and when the money it promised will be spent.



"ActionAid's recent discovery that some G8 nations have been frittering desperately needed hunger aid to fund odour control and biofuels does little to inspire confidence and must not be allowed to continue. As the world is tightening its belt, it's vital that every penny of aid is spent effectively and reaches the people who need it most.



"At Friday's summit, before making new promises, the G8 needs to show they are serious about helping the one billion people who go hungry every day."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
tv
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Extras
indybest
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Graduate / Junior C# Developer

£18000 - £25000 Per Annum + bonus and benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...

IT Project manager - Web E-commerce

£65000 Per Annum Benefits + bonus: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: If you are...

Chemistry Teacher - long term opportunity in Chester

Negotiable: Randstad Education Chester: Job Opportunity for an experienced Che...

Nursery Workers x3

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Nursery Workers x 3 Greater Manches...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits