A new report says poverty reduction must remain top priority for UK aid.

In November 2015, the Government released its new UK aid strategy called UK aid: tackling global challenges in the national interest, alongside the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), with an increased focus on how international development benefits the national interest.

The International Development Committee in its interim report, UK aid: allocation of resources, published today notes that the new UK aid strategy contains an increased focus on fragile states and regions and encourages greater spending of Official Development Assistance (ODA) by other government departments. However, in a list of the strategy’s four priorities, poverty reduction is listed in fourth place, which the IDC states risks giving the impression that poverty reduction is no longer the top priority when allocating UK aid.

THET supports this position and believes that poverty reduction should be a primary goal of overseas aid. THET does however welcome the reiteration in the new UK aid strategy of the Government’s manifesto commitment, from April 2015, to ‘boost partnerships between UK institutions and their counterparts in the developing world’. Official Development Assistance (ODA) from DFID has catalysed an enormous scale up of the health partnership approach forging lasting ties between health institutions from across the UK and counterparts across Africa, the Middle East and Asia reaching over 50,000 health workers since 2011.

The Sustainable Development Goals call on new forms of partnership that encourage co-development rather than traditional models of international development - mutuality, co-learning and a recognition that we gain as much as we give by working through partnerships. And it is this new, transformative approach that epitomizes today’s health partnerships and ensures that ODA is targeted carefully, results are measured and that lessons are learned.