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Priti Patel: Britain could slash UN aid funding if alliance fails to reform

Agnes Chambre

2 min read

Britain could withdraw funding from the United Nations if the organisation fails to implement urgent reforms, Priti Patel has said.

The International Development Secretary said UN programmes were not demonstrating value for money and that the UK was putting its “money where its mouth is”.

Speaking to the UN general assembly in New York, Ms Patel explained that from next year 30% of Britain's funding will be contingent on the organisation's improvement.

“The international system is, frankly, not coping – it is not fit for purpose,” she said.

“While the objectives and goals of the UN are timeless, the structures and system we have today are out of date, designed for different eras – and have not adapted to the realities of today: the challenge of fragile states, terrorism, extremism, cross-border conflict, and a changing climate.

“Over the last 70 years the UN has ballooned into a multiplicity of agencies, organisations, with billions spent in funds, programmes, costs and overheads, but too little coherence when it comes to collaboration, the sharing of resources and the effectiveness of aid."

She added: “From next year almost a third of our core funding to UN development and humanitarian agencies will be dependent on improved results and progress on reform priorities.

“On behalf of British taxpayers, the UK Government will put our money where our mouth is on our reform priorities and I call upon others to do the same."

She said agencies would have to demonstrate more collaboration, transparency and accountability mechanisms if they wanted "full funding from British taxpayers".

Britain will contribute £90m to the UN budget this year, plus £2bn in voluntary contributions, and will lay on 700 so-called 'peacekeeping' soldiers.


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