Ethiopia, Nigeria, and the Democratic Republic of Congo will receive more direct development aid from the United Kingdom as the aid to other countries adjudged to have “graduated” out of poverty is cut.
UK’s International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell told reporters that the changes showed “compassion” as aid is “tightly focused” on those most in need.
As a result, the United Kingdom will stop direct aid to 16 countries, including Russia, Serbia, China, Vietnam, and Iraq. Some, such as Vietnam and Bosnia, are seen to have “graduated” out of poverty.
“We have decided to focus British aid more tightly on countries where Britain is well-placed to have a significant long-term impact on poverty. It is morally right and also in our national interest to help the poorest people in the world,” Mitchell told reporters.
There will however be more aid made available to five countries: Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Pakistan.
Harriet Harman, Shadow international development secretary welcomed the government’s decision to stick with the commitment of spending 0.7% of UK’s national income on overseas aid.
The government says the new approach will be more effective in cutting poverty, and assist in reaching the Millennium Development Goals by the target date of 2015.
The increased aid to Ethiopia, Nigeria, and the Democratic Republic of Congo is expected to tackle power generation, to expand support to selected partner states for health and education and access to education.
The Department for International Development (DFID) budgeted £140 million for its programs in Nigeria in 2010 and 2011; a £40 million increase from the funds for 2008/2009 and £20 million for 2009/2010.