Foreign aid switch to further UK interests

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    Boris JohnsonImage copyright AFP

    The UK’s aid budget will be shifted to projects that promote its interests, the foreign secretary has said.

    Boris Johnson said the money will be “more sensibly distributed” to support foreign policy aims such as denying safe havens to Islamist terrorists.

    His comments came as Penny Mordaunt, the international development secretary, said the UK will provide a £21m boost to an emergency aid fund.

    The UK currently spends £13bn on aid each year.

    Speaking to the Times newspaper, Mr Johnson said “the old jam jars are being smashed” and money would be diverted to combating terrorists in Africa.

    It would also go to help refugees in Yemen and Rohingya Muslims fleeing across the Burmese border into Bangladesh, he added.

    The government is committed to spending 0.7% of national income on overseas aid but some politicians oppose such spending.

    Where does UK aid go?

    As of April 2017:

    • More than 40% of the budget went to multilateral organisations, such as the United Nations, who fund big projects like disaster relief
    • The remaining 60% goes directly to developing countries
    • The Department for International Development says the biggest regional beneficiary is Africa, which received a total of £2.54bn from the UK last year
    • Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, South Sudan and Syria, were each given more than £200m
    View the original article:

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