UK aid to Gaza, Afghanistan and China to come under ICAI scrutiny

7 Feb 2024

The Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) will look at UK aid to Gaza, Afghanistan and China in three new information notes.

Since the Israel-Hamas war began in October 2023, the UK has announced £60 million in additional humanitarian funding in Gaza, trebling the planned 2023-24 annual budget to the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs).

However most recently, the UK was among several donors pausing funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the biggest UN agency operating in Gaza, amid allegations last month that some of its staff had links to Hamas.

ICAI’s note will look at the UK’s crisis response, how UK aid has been spent in Gaza in recent years, and how the government is addressing the challenges in ensuring aid can reach those who need it.

Our update on Afghanistan will build on the ICAI information note published in May 2023, as well as the country portfolio review from 2022, looking at how the humanitarian situation and aid landscape have evolved.

On China, the latest note will provide an update to our June 2023 publication and original 2021 report, looking at how much aid is being spent there and to what extent this is aligned with UK government policy on aid to China.

ICAI’s work on China aims to increase transparency around remaining UK aid to the country since the then-Foreign Secretary announced in 2021 that FCDO would reduce aid to China for ‘programme delivery’ by 95%.

The information notes, due to be published in spring 2024, will not make evaluative judgements but instead provide a descriptive account of UK aid spend, support increased transparency, and serve to identify potential areas for further scrutiny.

The topics were agreed with Parliament’s International Development Committee.

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