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Foreign office exacerbated depth of R&D aid cuts, finds NAO report

Image: Willy Barton, via Shutterstock

Audit reveals foreign office chopped extra £90 million from business department’s ODA budget in 2021

An official audit of how the government managed its reduced international aid budget has revealed that the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office exacerbated cuts to R&D spending, leading to “reputational damage”.

In 2020, the government decided to cut Official Development Assistance spending from 0.7 to 0.5 per cent of gross national income, a decision that meant hundreds of research projects led by UK research institutions had their annual budgets slashed by up to 70 per cent.

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