You are here: UNA Harpenden: Public Meeting - How does the UK spend the international aid budget?

Bim Afolami, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden and PPS to the Secretary of State for International Development, spoke about how the UK spends the international aid budget. This budget, set by an act of parliament at 0.7% of GDP, amounts to £10.9bn although some of this aid is spent by other departments, including the Ministry of Defence. The government’s priority for this budget is development rather than aid, although inevitably we need to be able to respond to crises such as hurricane Idai. The Secretary of State (then Rory Stewart) is particularly keen to help developing countries to be more self sufficient and self reliant in their ability to respond to climate emergencies and climate change through the use of ‘green’ technology. Bim emphasised that it is in the UK interest to address these international problems which can lead to mass migration and the resulting stresses in UK politics. In a post-Brexit world, he is committed to advocating the importance of the UK maintaining friendly and cooperative links with other countries including European neighbours.