The UK parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has questioned the government’s rationale for increasing funds to multilateral agencies, such as the World Bank. The Department for International Development (DFID) is set to increase its programme budget by a third over the next four years, including the portion channelled through multilaterals (see Update 75). The cross-party PAC suggests, however, that DFID may be looking to multilateral agencies as an ‘easy option’ in off-loading funds, while its own projects remain undeveloped. “The strategy to increase … DFID spend through multilateral programmes appears to have more to do with it being easier … than for [DFID] to assess the viability, effectiveness and value for money of bilateral programme proposals.” In March, DFID acknowledged weaknesses in the Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), while praising it overall as a channel for UK aid (see Update 77).
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