DfID vows to compensate British NGOs for any funding loss after Brexit

24 Aug 18

The UK will compensate British NGOs for any loss of EU aid funding in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, the government has said in a letter to the charities.

Penny Mordaunt warned earlier in the year the Department for International Development could stop sending the millions of pounds it currently gives to EU aid projects if the bloc stopped supporting British NGOs.

It would do this if the bloc sticks to disclaimers in aid contracts stipulating that British NGOs would cease to get EU funding in the event of a no deal, Mordaunt said in July.

The letter to NGOs, published yesterday, has assured them UK government will underwrite existing contracts they have to compensate them for loss of funding.

Penny Mordaunt, international development secretary, wrote in the letter: “I understand the difficulties you and your colleagues have experienced over recent months in applying for EU funding – funding for which you remain legally entitled to bid – and the frustrations you have faced in delivering the high-quality programming for which British development organisations are renowned.

“It is in neither the EU’s nor the UK’s interest that organisations which are best-placed are prevented from delivering our programme.”

In July, she warned that funding would only continue if UK-based organisations can continue to take part in EU-run projects and bid for funding.

The minister said on Twitter: “On any Brexit scenario funding for UK NGOs will be secure.”

Last year, £884m of the UK’s £13.4bn aid budget went to EU development funds to be used for humanitarian projects around the world.

The UK’s Brexit secretary Dominic Raab said in a speech on no deal planning yesterday morning: “For our trail-blazing NGOs fighting global poverty, we have guaranteed their funding, from successful bids [to get money from] the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations.”

The government said that British humanitarian organisations should be able to continue bidding for funding from the core budget of the EU’s aid fund the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations.

It added that UK-based organisations should also be able to participate in and lead projects until programme closure.

Claire Godfrey, head of policy and campaigns at Bond, a UK network that represents British NGOs, said: “It is important to remember that the UK aid sector is a global leader when it comes to aid and development, and has long championed the value of keeping the world’s poorest at the heart of our work.

“We sadly risk hindering joint global development and aid efforts unless people stop playing politics with the lives of those facing dire poverty, insecurity and climate change.”

UK-based NGOs told PF International earlier this year that they were considering moving from the UK in a bid to protect funding streams.

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