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Mon, 26 February 2024

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Can UK Aid Help Stop Irregular Migration?

Coalition for Global Prosperity | Coalition for Global Prosperity

3 min read Partner content

The latest report from the Coalition for Global Prosperity looks at the role that UK Aid can play in helping to reduce irregular migration into the UK.

Whether during the Covid-19 pandemic or the cost of energy crisis precipitated by Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, we have seen how crises that begin abroad have the potential to dominate politics here in Britain. Irregular migration is another such issue.

Jane Stevenson MP has penned the foreword to this report saying:

"Taking back control of our borders includes responding to the challenges that compel people to move within their country of origin. As we debate the new tools that are needed to tackle cross-channel crossings, we should not neglect to think about how in a broader, cross-governmental way we can work to mitigate this problem at its source. It is a global challenge and it requires a global solution. Our aid and development work is one important tool for tackling what will remain one of the defining challenges of the 21st century."

The report uses climate change as a case study to demonstrate the impact of risk multipliers and the importance of UK support in these areas.

The report makes the following conclusions:

  • So much spent on accommodating asylum seekers it kneecaps what we can do abroad. The aid budget should be used to invest in poverty alleviation, create better economic opportunities for a generation of young people in search of work, and the UK’s development expertise should continue to support stable and democratic governance across the world. 
  • A secure border, controlled immigration levels and an orderly asylum process, is central to maintaining public trust.
  • In 2022, the UK spent 29 per cent of its ODA budget on hosting asylum seekers, thus kneecapping British capacity to make a difference abroad.
  • Development does help address the very factors of this challenge which border security measures and deterrence policies cannot.

Ryan Henson, Chief Executive at the Coalition for Global Prosperity said:

"If the UK is serious about tackling the challenge of irregular migration, it will require focusing on the slow-burn, deep-rooted problems that drive it. Development helps to respond to and mitigate against these push factors, including climate change, conflict and a lack of economic opportunity, all of which can lead people to want to leave their homes and pursue irregular means for doing so.

As this report makes clear, through our development work the UK can help address some of those push factors in a way that helps tackle this issue at source. In doing so, we reduce pressure on the asylum system here in the UK, and ensure that there is a system that serves the interests of both those who come here seeking protection, and ordinary Britons up and down the country."

You can read the full report and see our full conclusions by clicking the link below.

Read More


Notes to Editors:

  • Chief Executive Ryan Henson & Director of Advocacy Leila Bousbaa are available for interview relating to the report.
  • The Coalition brings together a wide coalition of aid supporters, with backgrounds from across the military, faith, business and political communities.
  • The Coalition launched in June 2018 with the Rt Hon David Cameron and Secretary of State for International Development, the Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP.
  • The Coalition for Global Prosperity is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organisation.

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