Chair, OECD Development Assistance Committee
Chief Commissioner, Independent Commission for Aid Impact
Director, National Audit Office
Managing Director, Swedish Expert Group for Aid Studies
Ian Mitchell, Co-Director, Development Cooperation in Europe and Senior Policy Fellow at CGD
Almost £3.7bn—over a quarter of the total aid budget—was spent on housing refugees in the UK in 2022. Billions were cut from the aid budget with very limited notice; and there are indicators that cost pressures this year could reach similar levels, or be even higher.
It is allowed—within the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC)’s rules—to count these first year’s costs as Official Development Assistance (ODA), but the DAC chair has called for caution when it comes to this approach.
As spending reaches record highs, the Independent Commission for Aid Impact’s recent report suggested the UK’s spend on refugees represented poor value for money and a new National Audit Office report has questioned the Home Office’s pans to improve the cost and fairness of the asylum system.
This panel will bring together leading figures to assess the UK’s approach to funding for refugees in the light of international rules, outline best practice and consider how the UK and other countries can better-manage hosting refugees alongside their development commitments. It will also consider the implications for the UK’s ODA budget going forward.