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  1. ITV Report

Britain is second only to US in world league table of aid spending

Bangladeshi women wait for humanitarian aid supplies Credit: Reuters

The UK was one of only six wealthy nations to meet international targets for spending on international aid as other states diverted cash to help deal with the migrant crisis.

New figures showed that Britain was second only to the US in terms of the total sums spend on foreign aid - though it gave a larger proportion of its income than the states.

It was one of a handful of states to meet a target to give at least 0.7 per cent of national income on overseas assistance, according to a survey by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The Netherlands, Denmark,Luxembourg, Norway and Sweden were the only others to meet the threshold.

The news was met with criticism from some Conservatives who said it shows Britain gave "more than our fair share".

£13.2bn
Amount spent by the UK on international aid last year
0.71%
Percentage of the total UK income spent on overseas help

The US was the biggest total spender, giving £22.47 billion in aid, although it amounted to just 0.17 per cent of its national income.

Meanwhile many other European countries have cut down on their commitments in order to free up cash to deal with the migrant crisis, the OECD found.

In 2015 refugee costs accounted for more than 20 per cent of the aid budgets for Austria, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden. In Britain it accounted for 1.1 per cent of the budget.

0.3
Average percentage of national income given by developed countries in aid

OECD secretary-genera Angel Gurria acknowledged that European states are having to spend to deal with the "unprecedented" migrant crisis but said it must not stop aid reaching some of the world's poorest countries.

Governments must ensure that development aid keeps rising. They also need to develop long-term options for meeting future refugee costs and the integration of refugees in our societies.

– Angel Gurria

However, there was anger among some in the UK, who said that the government had been left footing too much of the bill.

Conservative MP James Cleverly said the figures show "UK plays by the rules when other countries do not" in comments to the Daily Mail.

We are doing more than our fair share in spite of our large deficit, and the high levels of fraud and waste within the overseas aid budget."

– Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg