To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which organisations receive grant assistance from his Department under the joint funding scheme; and what criteria are applied to applications from organisations seeking assistance under this scheme.
During the 1987–88 financial year my Department provided grants under the joint funding scheme to 53 non-governmental organisations. I shall arrange for a list to be published in the Official Report.
There are four main criteria: projects must be designed to promote economic and social development, rather than emergency relief; they must fit the local communities' aspirations and needs; the costs and benefits must be clearly identified within realistic objectives; and the projects must have the potential to become self-sustaining after our support has come to an end.
Will my hon. Friend draw public attention, not only to the substantial increase in public funds forthis important scheme, but to the clearly targeted developmental work that it does? In particular, will he note that the sum available from public funds has quadrupled during the past six years and that it goes on a pound-for-pound basis to match the work that major national charities are doing in this important area?
I agree with my hon. Friend about the importance of the work of non-governmental organisations. They can often operate at a level that is more difficult for Government-to-Government programmes. That is why this year we have increased by 75 per cent. on the original allocation for last year the sum that is going to the joint funding scheme, which is supporting about 800 projects throughout the world.
It may well take tropical forests slightly longer to come to fruition than I am likely to be standing at this Dispatch Box. [Interruption.] I am not sure whether I am lucky or unlucky in making that observation. I wholly agree with my hon. Friend about the importance of forestry as part of our aid programme and that is why we have increased the funds available to it. One of the areas in which non-governmental organisations can work most valuably is in environmental protection and enhancement.
Agencies receiving grants under the joint funding scheme in 1987–88