UK food aid needs 'better management on the ground'

Food aid sent to some of the poorest parts of the world by the UK needs to be better managed on the ground in order to reach those who need it the most, a watchdog has said.

UK denies criticism of its food aid programme

The Government has denied the frontline of its food aid programme is being slowing implemented, saying it was a "recognised" leader in global nutrition.

A Department for International Development (DFID) spokeswoman said:

DFID is a world leader in global nutrition as recognised by ICAI.

At the Nutrition for Growth Summit in 2013, the UK secured global financial commitments that will help improve the nutrition of millions of pregnant women and young children.

– A DFID spokeswoman

UK food aid needs 'tighter project management'

ICAI chief commissioner Graham Ward said:

DFID's pace of delivery at the global level is good.

At the portfolio level, DFID has scaled up investments significantly, although it could have done so more quickly, given the high priority it gives to nutrition.

It the country level, implementation has been slow. We found that tighter project management, including a better selection of partners, is needed to improve the pace of implementation at the country level.

– Graham Ward

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UK food aid 'needs better ground management'

Food aid sent to help some of the most desperate parts of the world needs better management on the ground if it is to quickly reach those in need, a watchdog has said.

Read: UK pledges £60 million in aid to South Sudan

Food aid
ICAI was generally positive about the international food aid programme. Credit: REUTERS/Russell Boyce

The Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) criticised the Government department in charge of handing out aid to some of the world's poorest countries for slow implementation of their aid programme.

ICAI were generally supportive of the Department for International Development's (DFID) efforts to supply £3.3 billion of aid by 2020, praising the "globally recognised and effective" programme.

However, they warned that "implementation at the country level has been too slow" meaning it was impossible to be certain which practical effects it was having despite promising early signs.

Read: Govt urged to increase aid to Central African Republic