“The pledges fall incredibly short of what is needed” – UK pledges £143m for East Africa, Bond reacts

Today, 24 May, the Minister for Development and Africa Andrew Mitchell will announce £143m in humanitarian aid to East Africa at the UN Horn of Africa pledging conference. However, this falls short of previous support for the region. In 2020, Ethiopia received £254 million in UK aid whereas 2023/2024 the UK is committing £143 million to East Africa, £42 million of which is for Ethiopia – a major reduction.  

Stephanie Draper, Chief Executive at Bond, the UK network for NGOs, said:  

It is welcome that Minister Mitchell has pledged humanitarian aid to East Africa as the region is increasingly gripped by drought, conflict, food insecurity and the impacts of climate change.  However, the pledges fall short of the UK’s previous commitments to the region – £143 million is only 15% of the funds allocated in 2020 to the same set of countries. This is exacerbated by the succession of UK aid cuts and other spending decisions, falling incredibly short of what is needed.   

The government’s own figures show that more UK aid is currently being spent in the UK to reimburse other departments for refugee support costs than on development and humanitarian assistance in all of Africa. While it is right we support refugees, this shouldn’t be at the expense of those facing extreme poverty and famine. The government must urgently stop undermining the purpose of UK aid and prioritize long-term solutions to help countries tackle poverty, prevent conflict and adapt to climate change, starting by returning to spending 0.7% of GNI on UK aid. 


Notes for editors

  1. From 2020 to 2021, the UK’s funding to Ethiopia dropped by £134 million. For 2023/2024 the UK is committing £143 million to East Africa, £42 million of which is for Ethiopia – a major reduction.  
  1. Table of UK Aid to East Africa/Horn of Africa for 2020-2023. Source: UK Gov. Statistics on International Development. (Country level figures from 2022 are not yet available) 
UK Aid to East Africa/Horn of Africa  
 2020 2021 2023/24 (projected financial year) 
Ethiopia £254 million £120 million £42 million 
Kenya £92 million £ 72 million £5.8 million 
Somalia £232 million £101 million £48 million 
South Sudan £156 million £96 million £18.9 million 
Sudan £139 million £94 million £21.7 million 
Uganda £89 million £ 64 million £ 7 million 
Total £962 million  £547 million £143.4 million 
  1. 2023 the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs’ (UNOCHA) humanitarian appeals for the Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan total was $ 12 billion (source OCHA’s Financial Tracking Services
  1. Bond is the UK network for organisations working in international development. Bond unites and supports a diverse network of over 400 civil society organisations from across the UK, and allies to help eradicate global poverty, inequality and injustice.    
  1. For further information or to arrange interviews please contact Jessica Salter at [email protected] or call 07392972411