News

UK aid is still largely blocked from entering Gaza despite efforts to improve access

21 May 2024

Diplomatic efforts have so far been ineffective in securing access to get enough aid into Gaza to address the mounting humanitarian catastrophe, worsening as Israel’s invasion of Rafah progresses, the aid watchdog reports today (Tuesday 21 May). The UK has contributed to a significant international humanitarian response to the crisis, committing more than £70 million […]

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Positive progress on well over half of ICAI recommendations from 2022-23

16 May 2024

The government has made adequate progress implementing well over half of the aid watchdog’s recommendations over the past year, a new report finds today (Thursday 16 May). This is a marked improvement from last year. The annual follow-up review from the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) looks back at recommendations from the nine reviews […]

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UK aid to Ukraine has been fast, flexible and responsive but post-war reconstruction will need careful management

30 Apr 2024

ICAI finds the UK mounted an effective and flexible civilian aid response to the crisis in Ukraine, including bilateral aid of £228m and a 5-year commitment of £4 billion in loan guarantees. Strong efforts to ensure aid reaches vulnerable groups such as the elderly, women and those with disabilities. More humanitarian aid should be channelled […]

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UK aid to India taking steps to improve poverty focus, but some investments pose major reputational risks

18 Apr 2024

Aid watchdog finds FCDO has started work to ensure aid to India goes where it is most needed, and on mobilising climate finance following last year’s review. But ICAI raises questions over some investments made by the UK’s development finance institution BII, including in social media sites and a cosmetics company. Report comes after BII […]

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Aid budget reductions, pandemic and FCDO merger created a more favourable environment for fraud risk 

26 Mar 2024

Despite having strong programme management processes in place, FCDO discovered just £2.2 million in fraud loss in 2020-21 in UK aid compared to its £9.9 billion spend, ICAI finds.   Under-investment in central anti-fraud team leaves staff overseas lacking support.   New finance system introduced after departmental merger without proper training caused payment delays and staff having […]

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UK aid to China falls by up to 90% since 2019 but still lacks transparency

21 Mar 2024

UK aid to China has fallen by up to 90% since 2019, but the aid watchdog continues to raise concerns about the transparency of the remaining spend in a report today (Thursday 21 March). The Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) finds that aid engagement with China across all of government dropped from £80 million […]

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UK’s £11.6bn climate finance commitment at risk as aid resources stretched

29 Feb 2024

ICAI review finds £11.6 billion target will be challenging to meet, with 55% to be spent in the last two years of the pledge. The government “moved the goalposts” by changing the way meeting the target is calculated, and reviewing existing spend to include all eligible ICF. Altogether this amounted to an additional £1.724 billion, of […]

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Forthcoming review: DHSC’s aid-funded global health research and innovation

26 Feb 2024

The COVID-19 pandemic and race to develop a vaccine brought health research to the top of the international agenda, and in recent years it has become more central to UK aid’s strategic priorities. A forthcoming review from the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) will look at aid spent by the Department for Health and […]

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New ICAI Commissioners: Liz Ditchburn and Harold Freeman

13 Feb 2024

Liz Ditchburn and Harold Freeman have been announced as the incoming part-time Commissioners for the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI). The candidates, who will take up their four-year posts on 1 July 2024, were appointed by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), after a selection process conducted in accordance with the Governance Code […]

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