UK Aid worker watching boxes be loaded onto a ship

Stats on international development: how UK aid was spent in 2017

The Department for International Development (DFID) has released the annual Statistics on International Development report, which provides preliminary statistics on how much Official Development Assistance (ODA) the UK provided in 2017.

The report includes UK ODA as a proportion of GNI (the ODA:GNI ratio), which has hit the 0.7% spending target.


The UK met the 0.7% ODA/GNI target in 2017 with the provisional ratio at 0.70%

UK aid increased to £13,933m in 2017, up from £13,377m in 2016, an increase of £555m, or 4.2%. However, the £555m increase was less than the £1,120m increase of 2016, which was partly due to the shift to using the new GNI calculation methodology (ESA 2010), which saw GNI figures increase substantially.

Multilateral and bilateral ODA:

  • The estimated UK share of the EU developmental budget in 2017 was ¬£884m. This was a decrease of ¬£92m from ¬£976m in 2016. This was due to a reduction in the UK’s overall share of the EU budget in 2017 along with exchange rate movement.
  • The split remained relatively steady with previous years with bilateral ODA at 62.4% and multilateral ODA at 37.5%. In 2016 it was 63.9% and 36.1% respectively
  • Multilateral aid grew faster in relative terms at 8.1% (¬£391m) to ¬£5,234m, with bilateral aid increasing by 1.9% (¬£164m) to ¬£8,698m.
  • Of total UK bilateral ODA, ¬£1,407m (16%) was for humanitarian assistance, representing an increase of ¬£170m since 2016.

How did departments spend ODA?

DFID’s relative share of the aid budget it manages declined to 72.5% down from 74.0% from 2016. In absolute terms, it was an increase of ¬£234m (2.4%)

Subscribe to our newsletter

Our weekly email newsletter, Network News, is an indispensable weekly digest of the latest updates on funding, jobs, resources, news and learning opportunities in the international development sector.

Get Network News

The relative share of aid that other government departments manage and contribute to the ODA grew to 27.5%, up from 26.2% in 2016.

Significant non-DFID departmental allocations include:

  • Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) ‚Äì 5.5% of total ODA (5.2% in 2016)
  • Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) ‚Äì 4% of total ODA (4.5% in 2016)
  • Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) ‚Äì 4.0% of total ODA (3.8% in 2016)
  • Home Office ‚Äì 2.4% of total ODA (2.7% in 2016)
  • Non-department sources (items not on any departments’ budget) were the non-DFID EU attribution (3.2% or ¬£445m) and IMF Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT) (5.2% or ¬£726m).
  • The 62% increase in transfers to the IMF PRGT (an additional ¬£280m, from ¬£446m to ¬£726m) accounted for around 50% of the overall increase in UK ODA in 2017.


News & Views