NEW figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have revealed that the UK ranked second among the 28 leading industrialised nations which handed out foreign aid in 2015.
The study shows that the UK contributed around €15 billion of the €108 billion total, whereas Spain provided just €1.3 billion.
The US provided the most money, around €25.5 billion, with the UK second following David Cameron’s commitment to raise spending to 0.7 per cent of national income, more than double the 0.3 per cent average of the 28 nations.
Britain also spends three times as much per capita than the US, almost €235 per person in 2015.
“We are doing more than our fair share in spite of our large deficit, and the high levels of fraud and waste within the overseas aid budget,” said Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg on Wednesday April 14.
Some examples of controversial spending include €19 million being spent on an initiative to reduce flatulence in Colombian cattle in order to tackle climate change.
Around €3.7 million was donated to China in order to increase “awareness” of Premier League football.
A €290 million British aid programme for Nigerian schools produced “no major improvement in pupil learning,” according to an official report.
The OECD came into being in 1961 with a mission to ‘’to promote policies that will improve the economic and social wellbeing of people around the world’.
Secretary general Angel Gurria, said that many countries have had to divert funds towards the costs of the current refugee crisis in Europe, and have therefore avoided spending on development programmes.
He added: “These efforts must continue. We also welcome that more aid is being provided to the poorest countries. Governments must ensure that development aid keeps rising.”
“They also need to develop long-term options for meeting future refugee costs and the integration of refugees in our societies, while ensuring at the same time that development assistance reaches those countries and people that need it the most.”