With the Department for International Development as the only area of public spending that stands to benefit from significant funding increases in the next few years, U.K. aid chief Andrew Mitchell and his department need to defend the expanded aid budget.
But Mitchell’s dilemma does not end here, according to The Guardian’s Madeleine Bunting.
While he has to defend the aid budget, Mitchell is keen to dissociate from the work of his predecessor and present “a dramatic new departure” as evidenced by his drive for aid transparency and effectiveness.
“He is caught in a dilemma: if he trashes DfID’s record, he emboldens the critics calling for its abolition; if he praises its work, he’s giving credit to the previous government and detracting from the impact he wants to make,” Bunting said.
Apart from this, Mitchell will need to make his aid transparency and effectiveness drive work in Afghanistan, which will receive an increase of 40 percent in U.K. aid.
“[I]t’s widely acknowledged (including in a disturbing chapter in Linda Polman’s book) that the country has gobbled up huge quantities of aid with little to show for it over the last nine years. It is notoriously difficult to achieve results or value for money in conflict states,” Bunting said.