The Government's coalition agreement makes it clear that deficit reduction, and securing the economic recovery, is the most urgent issue facing Britain. However, this Government believe that even in these difficult economic times, the UK has a moral responsibility to help the poorest people in the world. It is also very much in our national self-interest to ensure that our development budget does something about the difficult conflict-ridden and unstable areas in the developing world. The UK will therefore honour the commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of GNI on official development assistance (ODA).
The Department for International Development will be expected to achieve significant efficiency savings and these will be recycled to ensure the best value in the UK's ODA spend. The Secretary of State for International Development recently announced that he would redirect £100 million from projects that are low priority or that are not performing, to programmes that have a better success rate in improving the lives of the world's poor.