YOUR MONEY: List of countries the UK donates £13 Billion annually to – TRACKED!

According to a new analysis by the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI), the UK will send just under £50 million in foreign aid to China, the world’s second-largest economy, in 2021.

Despite the fact that the number has been decreasing – down from £82 million in 2019 – and is “expected to continue to decline rapidly in the future,” according to the watchdog, the disclosure has prompted concerns about the Government’s selection of beneficiaries.

We’ve broken down how the UK’s aid spending has changed over time, as well as who the primary recipients are.

How much does the UK spend on aid?

Back in 1970, the UN established 0.7 percent of Gross National Income (GNI) – equivalent to GDP plus money flowing in and out of a country – as the benchmark ODA spend for wealthy nations.

The UK enshrined this into domestic law in 2013, but that only lasted until the pandemic wreaked havoc on the public finances.

In 2020, as a “temporary measure” it was announced that ODA would be reduced to 0.5 percent of GNI until at least 2027/28.

In 2022, the UK spent 0.51 percent of its GNI on ODA – just under £13billion – down from a record £14.5billion in 2018.

A large and increasing share of this total is dispensed directly to individual countries – referred to as bilateral aid – rather than UN institutions such as the World Food Programme and UNICEF.

Where does the money go?

Aid allocations vary year-on-year depending on where the most pressing crises emerge. Last year, Africa received the biggest proportion of ODA as a region – the outbreak of war in Ukraine, however, saw a surge in payments made within Europe.

As the Government is yet to publish its final report on 2022, figures from 2021 provide the most up-to-date insight on beneficiary countries. That year, there were 132 of them.

Afghanistan was the top recipient, with bilateral assistance totalling £187million. Beyond the Taliban takeover, the country has long been mired in a humanitarian crisis, with two-thirds of the population in food insecurity and 875,000 children facing acute malnutrition, according to Human Rights Watch.

Nigeria, where radical groups such as Boko Haram continue to terrorise civilians causing millions to be internally displaced, received the second-largest amount of aid, at £140million. Pakistan came in third (£132million), followed by Ethiopia (£120million) and Yemen (£107million).

Further down the list comes China – handed £48million of UK taxpayer money – a fact former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith described as “bizarre”. The aid watchdog said the largest share of this, some £6million, was used in partnership with the Premier League to “deliver new and more inclusive participation.”

A big part still goes to refugees

Under international aid rules, the cost of housing refugees for the first year can be covered by the ODA budget.

Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office accounts show the UK spend on in-donor refugee costs soared from £1.1billion in 2021 to £3.7billion in 2022.

The UK is facing an unprecedented migrant crisis as record numbers of people cross the Channel in small boats – to the tune of over 12,500 this year already.

As the Government attempts to get reformed legislation on the statute books that would make it easier to deport illegal arrivals, it is spending millions of pounds on temporary housing in hotel rooms each day.

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