The UK Parliament’s International Development Committee has published its report “DFID’s Performance in 2013-14: the Departmental Annual Report 2013-14”. This Parliamentary inquiry was scrutinizing the DFID 2013-14 Annual Report.
The SMP made a submission to this inquiry in which we made three main core points:
(1) There is a lack of clear, consistent and easily available data on DFID’s total spend in Malawi and we encourage greater clarity, transparency and accessibility in the future.
(2) We have serious concerns that DFID’s 2014-15 spend in Malawi could be less than half what it was in 2012-13. We remind HMG of its public commitment to ensure the move away from General Budget Support would not be used as a pre-text to reduce the bottom-line DFID commitment to Malawi, and give strong encouragement that this important commitment is maintained.
(3) We highlight the economic impact in Malawi of the suspension of budget support and call for clarity on what standards must be reached by the Government of Malawi for such support to be re-started, and additional capacity building and mutual assistance to help the Government of Malawi reach these standards.
The SMP met with the International Development Committee last week and again re-emphasised these three points.
The Committee’s final report recognises points made by the SMP in its submission (see para 52, pg 25; and para 73, pg 33), noting:
“The Scotland Malawi Partnership highlighted that spending in Malawi has been cut back from previous plans in 2013-14 and 2014-15 following the large increase in humanitarian spending” (para 73, pg 33)
We hope that in responding to this report DFID makes specific comment on concerns raised by SMP members regarding the halving of DFID Malawi funding since 2012, a period in which DFID’s overall funding has increased by over £3 billion (c30%) due to the governmental (and now parliamentary) commitment to 0.7% of GNI on ODA.