Top UK Aid Contractor Forced Recipients To Give Positive Reviews to British Government

Foreign Aid
Peter Macdiarmid/Getty

Reuters — One of Britain’s leading aid contractors pressured beneficiaries to write favourable testimonies while it was under investigation, a government report found on Sunday, amid growing scrutiny over UK aid spending.

Britain last year launched an inquiry into the use of contractors in its overseas humanitarian programmes after facing criticism for paying rising amounts to for-profit private companies to deliver aid.

Adam Smith International, which is contracted by the Department of International Development (DFID) to run aid programmes, threatened to withdraw funds from some recipients unless they wrote beneficial evidence for the inquiry, the parliamentary committee report found.

DFID has come under increasing scrutiny over how it spends its budget, which rose by 4 percent to 12 billion pounds ($15 billion) last year, as the government grapples with public debt at its highest level in nearly 50 years.



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