UK Aid Review: ILO, UNIDO Defend Performance, Eye Future Partnership with UK

    Following the U.K. government’s announcement to withdraw funding for four United Nations agencies as part of its multilateral aid review, two of these agencies said they were dissatisfied with the findings of the review, but still expressed hope for a future partnership with the U.K.

    The International Labor Organization says it was “surprised,” while the U.N. Industrial Development Organization was “disappointed” over the conclusions of the review of U.K.’s 43 multilateral aid partners.

    British contributions to the U.N. Human Settlements Program, or UN-HABITAT, and U.N. International Strategy for Disaster Reduction were also recommended to be withdrawn following the review.

    >> UK Releases Aid Review Results

    ILO says the multilateral aid review “[differs] significantly” from the external evaluation that the U.K. Department for International Development issued less than a year ago, covering its partnership framework agreement for the period 2006-2009 with ILO.

    The evaluation concluded that DfID’s partnership with ILO should continue and that the U.K. aid agency should consider funding support for ILO after the PFA period of 2006-2009, ILO said in a statement.

    ILO also pointed out that the U.K. multilateral aid review only examined the 33 projects of the U.N. agency in four nations, out of some 800 active projects ILO is supporting in 100 countries.

    ILO invited DfID into a dialogue “to improve the performance of the ILO as we have done in the past, and how our Partnership to promote decent work can be continued.”

    Meanwhile, UNIDO Director-General Kandeh K. Yumkella said in a statement: “I am disappointed by the intention expressed by the UK to withhold funding from UNIDO – not only because of our partnership to date, but also because the DFID review contains inaccuracies which are material to the conclusion reached.”

    No fact-finding visit to UNIDO headquarters or field operations took place in the course of the review, according to Yumkella.

    UNIDO also noted that “a wide range of developmental services” provided by the organization have not been duly considered in the review, including post-crisis recovery and rehabilitation in fragile states.

    “I still hope that the UK will review its decision but if it does go through, we will continue to engage with the Government and DFID in the hope of renewing our partnership at a later stage,” Yumkella said.  

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    About the author

    • Ma. Rizza Leonzon

      As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.