To ask Her Majesty’s Government what proportion of the United Kingdom’s international aid budget is currently spent through international bodies; and whether they have any plans to change this proportion.
Baroness Verma: My Lords, I thank my noble friend for asking the Question. I know that he shares a great interest in overseas development. In 2009-10, 62 per cent of DfID’s aid budget was spent through multilateral organisations. This includes funding at headquarters level and support for particular programmes and projects at country level. The Government are currently reviewing their bilateral and multilateral spending in order to maximise effectiveness and value for money. These reviews will determine the future shape of our aid budget in terms of how much funding we provide to different countries and international organisations.
Lord Sheikh: My Lords, I thank the Minister for that response. Is she satisfied that these multilateral bodies to which we contribute are assiduous in ensuring that we gain value for money as a result of the contribution made? What more can be done to guarantee that our foreign policy priorities are reflected in the distribution of funds through this mechanism?
Baroness Verma: My Lords, multilateral organisations have strong controls in place on financial accountability and transparency. The UK, as a shareholder, has helped to shape these controls and we work hard to monitor effectiveness of multilateral expenditure. The ongoing multilateral aid review is assessing the overall effectiveness of organisations. Each multilateral organisation has its own mandate designed to address a specific challenge. The review is also looking at the relevance of each organisation to the UK’s objectives.