Never enough: how the UK is sold short by global quangos


UK taxpayers spend billions each year on aid, over half of which typically goes to global quangos like the United Nations. However, it is never enough for quangocrats, who have often accused the UK of falling short when it comes to human rights obligations, aid spending, and even domestic spending.

Following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the UK government temporarily reduced aid spending to 0.5 per cent of Gross National Income (GNI) from the previous level of 0.7 per cent. At this reduced level, the UK is still one of the most generous nations when it comes to aid spending and in 2022 only four nations spent more.

This paper analyses these claims in four areas, showing that the UK does more than its fair share when it comes to solving global problems.




Key findings

  • Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has been threatened with being kept out of climate talks, even though the UK recently promised $2 billion to the UN’s Green Climate Fund

  • The UN claims that temporary aid reductions are “tarnishing and diminishing the UK in the wider world”, and yet UK aid is fifth highest in the world, and has increased by $1 billion since that claim was made

  • UNICEF claimed UK aid cuts deprive children of sanitation and water, but the UK remains 3rd biggest donor to WHO and 7th biggest to UNICEF, spending at least £18.5 billion on UN bodies since 2012

  • Despite spending more than the OECD average on welfare, the UN claimed domestic welfare cuts risk violating the UK’s human rights obligations


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