UK to Implement 'Full Audit' of Aid-Recipient Nations - Mitchell

U.K. Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell. Photo by:

The British government will carry out a “full audit” of which nations should continue to benefit from U.K. aid, according to Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell.

In a letter to the Telegraph May 28, Mitchell acknowledged the need to be more transparent given the U.K.’s growing aid spending.

“That’s why I have instituted a full-scale value for money review at [Department for International Development] and cancelled a number of ill-conceived projects commissioned by the previous government,” he noted in the letter, which is in response to an article by Andrew Gilligan.

Mitchell said Gilligan’s assertion that aid “sometimes helps” is “unduly curmudgeonly.”

He added: “Well spent aid has helped to eradicate smallpox, reduce polio cases from 350,000 a year in 1988 to just 1,500 last year, and to increase the number of people on lifesaving anti-AIDS drugs from 400,000 in 2003 to more than four million in 2008.” 

Mitchell also announced that the U.K. aid program for China will cease next year. He also clarified that the British government’s funding for Singapore is “solely” for pensions to long-serving crown servants and capital invested by CDC, the U.K.’s development finance arm, through a Singapore-based fund manager.

About the author

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    Ma. Rizza Leonzon

    As a staff writer, Rizza focuses mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID. She covers breaking business news particularly at the ADB and has conducted interviews with specialists from the Inter-American Development Bank, World Bank and other top players in international development. Rizza also contributes to the daily Development Newswire and other Devex publications.