MPs want conditions on foreign aid

 

Fragile and war-torn countries should lose British aid if their governments flout agreements made with the UK, a committee of MPs will say today.

The International Development Committee said it was right for the Government to increase the amount of aid to states in a delicate position, highlighting the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.

The Department for International Development (DFID) is increasing its focus on fragile states and will spend 30% of Official Development Assistance (ODA) - approximately £3,414 million - in these states by 2015.

But in a report published today the committee, chaired by Liberal Democrat Malcolm Bruce, has said the aid must be conditional.

Mr Bruce said: "There are obvious benefits of providing aid to fragile states. It is, after all, cheaper to prevent conflicts, than to deal with wars and their aftermath.

"Nevertheless, there are considerable risks in spending aid money in conflict scarred states and the Government must be frank and open about this if it wants to convince the public that its approach is the right one, both morally and politically."

"In countries where fraud and corruption are rife, DFID will not always be able to mitigate against this adequately - especially where it sub-contracts delivery of its programmes to third parties."

"This means it may not be able to guarantee value for money for every pound it spends."

The committee report urges the Government to set out specific governance conditions as a requirement for the receipt of aid - and conditions under which aid will be withdrawn.

The DFID budget was one of two protected by the Government following the last spending review in 2010.

Shadow international development secretary Ivan Lewis said: "We fully support the decision to prioritise UK aid spending in fragile and conflict-affected states.

"But with the UK spending 30% of its ODA in these states by 2015, it is crucial that this expenditure is delivered with a coordinated and strategic approach and maximum transparency.

"I hope that Andrew Mitchell will use this opportunity to address the questions raised in the report and clarify his department's policy towards conflict and fragile states.

"It is important that UK aid is targeted towards those that need it the most and are the hardest to reach, but in these difficult financial times we also have a particular responsibility to strengthen public confidence and support."

Andrew Mitchell, International Development Secretary, said: "This report says the coalition Government is right to focus aid on fragile and conflict-affected states, to tackle crises before they begin.

"We make absolutely clear to countries that transparency and good governance are vital, and we are prepared to withhold funding through governments when our standards are not met, as we have done in Malawi."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
people
News
Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
i100
Arts and Entertainment
music
News
news

Sport
football

Follow the latest news and score as Chelsea take on Maribor at Stamford Bridge.

Life and Style
tech

Company reveals $542m investment in start-up building 'a rocket ship for the mind"

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

IT Project Manager

Competitive: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsford a...

Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

IT Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album