In June 2013, the UK Department for International Development forecasted that it would need to spend some $4.11 billion in November and December to meet the aid goal of $17.5 billion. Actual spending amounted to more than $5.63. The figures revealed by NAO report also suggest that more than 40 percent of the Department’s annual spending took place in the last two months of 2013.
“One clear challenge for the Department [for International Development] is that, in effect, it must work to two year ends. Although the target relates to cash expenditure in a calendar year, the Department continues to account to a March financial year end,” NAO said in a statement, published on its official website.
According to the auditors, the danger of such a misbalance is that it causes “significant decisions to be made late in the year and at short notice.” However, according to the British media the last-minute aid still went where it was needed the most: the money was spent on humanitarian programs in Syria and the Philippines.
The UK government committed to increasing its overseas aid to 0.7 percent of GNI in 2010. In order to meet this goal, the Department’s 2013-2014 budget was increased by a third. In total, in 2013 UK spent about $17.5 billion on overseas aid, becoming the first G7 country to reach the UN’s 0.7 percent aid target.