Laura Kyrke-Smith, Executive Director of International Rescue Committee UK, said,

"In our evidence submission, the IRC urged Minister Mitchell and the UK Government to target development efforts towards fragile and conflict affected states (FCAS), where two thirds of people in extreme poverty will live by 2030. This White Paper takes a significant step towards that. 

We welcome the Paper’s focus on poverty reduction and its recognition that conflict and climate overwhelmingly shape development outcomes. The Paper makes significant commitments, including to spend over half of all bilateral Official Development Assistance in least developed countries (LDCs) and invest over half of all British International Investment (BII) backing into the poorest and most fragile countries by 2030. The UK will also commit to stand with locally-led women’s rights organisations when both responding to emergencies and setting development priorities. 

There is clear intention to rely not just on foreign aid, but to mobilise international finance and reform the global system to support countries battling conflict and climate change. New IRC analysis shows just 16 conflict-affected, climate vulnerable countries now account for 60% of humanitarian need, but struggle to access the finance they need.  

Following multiple recent international development resets, the UK must now deliver. To achieve a vision that goes far beyond foreign aid, this Paper should be quickly delivered across Government, must be sufficiently resourced, and ultimately deliver for the people whose lives and livelihoods hang in the balance.

If the UK is to regain the trust of partners in the Global South and play its part in tackling global crises, it will be actions that matter more than words."

Notes to Editors 

Find out more about the IRC submission to the International Development White Paper Call for Evidence here