“The UK aid cuts and the rushed FCDO merger have harmed the UK’s reputation and caused disruption to the sector” – Bond reacts to ICAI review on the last four years of UK aid

Today, Wednesday 13 September, The Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) has released its synthesis review of ICAI findings on UK aid from 2019 to 2023.

ICAI’s review of the four years since the current Commission was appointed looks at how UK aid has performed in turbulent times, citing that Brexit, the Covid-19 pandemic and the UK aid budget cuts have put extraordinary pressure on UK aid since 2019. ICAI highlights that the redeployment of staff to prepare for Brexit, followed by the merger of DFID and FCO, and the series of UK aid budget reductions were damaging to the UK’s reputation.

In reaction to the review, Gideon Rabinowitz, Director of Policy and Advocacy at Bond, the UK network for NGOs, said: 

The UK aid cuts and the rushed FCDO merger have harmed the UK’s reputation and caused disruption to the sector. 

The lack of a long-term strategy and the use of nearly a third of the UK aid budget by other departments for housing refugees has weakened the UK’s ability to effectively respond to urgent crises, such as the heightened humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and the ongoing food crisis in East Africa. 

The UK government needs to strengthen its engagement with local communities and work long-term with partner countries to truly restore its reputation as a global partner in development. We would also like to see a credible plan to return UK aid spending to 0.7% of GNI.


Notes to editors

  • Bond is the UK network for organisations working in international development. Bond unites and supports a diverse network of nearly 400 civil society organisations from across the UK, and allies to help eradicate global poverty, inequality and injustice. 
  • To request a copy of the ICAI report and press release please contact, Lizzie Palmer on [email protected].
  • For further information or interviews please contact Jess Salter at [email protected] or call 07392972411.