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House of Commons - International Development Committee: Implications for Development in the Event of Scotland Becoming and Independent Country - HC 692

Sixth Report of Session 2013-14, Vol. 1: Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence

The UK's aid programme, much of which is delivered from Scotland, is genuinely transformational. The UK provided £8.7 billion of aid in 2012/13, but it is the quality of this aid - not just its quantity - which sets the UK apart. As part of the UK, Scotland makes a tremendous contribution to all this. If Scotland were to become an independent country, its development agency would inevitably be a much smaller player. From 2013 onwards, the UK Government plans to spend 0.7% of Gross National Income on Official Development Assistance. If Scotland were to become independent, the UK's overall GNI - and the amount of money it spends on ODA - would fall. "Scotland has 8.3% of the UK's population share, so we estimate that the UK's ODA would fall by around 8.3%, or £1 billion. DFID's work - either its bilateral programmes or its funding to multilateral organisations - would inevitably then be subject to cuts. MPs are also concerned that during any transitional period, the restructuring of DFID and the setup of an independent Scottish development agency would divert management attention towards restructuring and away from frontline delivery by both agencies. In addition, a significant proportion of DFID's workforce is based at its Scottish office in East Kilbride, including a number of senior staff. By contrast, the number of jobs available with an independent Scottish development agency is likely to be relatively few (or the new Scottish development agency would be heavily overstaffed). The impact on jobs would therefore be substantial.

... in Ethiopia at the work DFID is doing with regard to early marriage and trying to
encourage communities to dissuade their young girls from this. Then ... We are
already focused, in India for example, towards supporting women entrepreneurs.