The UK’s humanitarian response to COVID-19

A review assessing emergency UK aid support for populations in humanitarian need as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Score: Green/Amber
  1. Status: Completed
  2. Published: 14 July 2022
  3. Type: Full review
  4. Subject: Humanitarian assistance
  5. Assessment: Green/Amber
  6. Location: Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Nepal, Yemen
  7. Lead commissioner: Tamsyn Barton
  8. SDGs covered:Zero hunger, Good health and wellbeing, Gender equality

International Development Committee

A hearing is held by Parliament’s International Development Committee (IDC) or their ICAI sub-committee for most ICAI reviews.

We expect a hearing for this review to take place in due course.

ICAI follow-up

Approximately one year after we publish our reports, we follow up on the steps the government has taken in response to our recommendations. This process is a key link in the accountability chain, providing Parliament and the public with an account of how well government departments have responded to ICAI reviews.

Our follow-up to this review found that FCDO has been working to protect programming on social protection from aid reductions and has been encouraging multilateral development banks to expand their activities on social protection. However, FCDO has not undertaken a formal after-action review of its COVID-19 response, instead relying on informal learning, which heightens risks that lessons will not be captured to inform future crisis responses. In addition, we are yet to see robust evidence that FCDO has expanded its support directed to local delivery partners.

ICAI therefore judges FCDO’s response to the recommendations from this review to be inadequate, and will therefore return to review action on outstanding issues in 2024.

Read the follow-up review online or download the summary follow-up report.

Further follow-up

We will return to assess outstanding issues again in the next follow-up process, expected to take place in 2024.



Published 4 November 2021

Evidence gathering


Review publication

14 July 2022

Government response

Published 5 December 2022

ICAI follow-up

Published 18 July 2023

Further follow-up

Expected summer 2024