Small Charities: Funding

International Development – in the House of Commons on 6th June 2019.

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Photo of Philip Dunne Philip Dunne Conservative, Ludlow

What steps he is taking to enable small charities in the UK to access funding from his Department.

Photo of Rory Stewart Rory Stewart The Secretary of State for International Development

In the end, the Department for International Development is of course spending taxpayers’ money. To work out how to spend it in a way that resonates with the British people, we must get much better at focusing on the small charities that British citizens back. The way to do that is to learn, from examples such as the lottery fund, how to provide more support for small charities. We will push ahead with that work to make sure that small charities flourish.

Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Speaker of the House of Commons, Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, Chair, Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Chair, Commons Reference Group on Representation and Inclusion Committee

The Secretary of State is an extraordinarily brilliant and cerebral fellow. He has not quite yet got the hang of the rather more prosaic matter of the announcement of the desire to group, but I shall do it for him. The Secretary of State wishes to group this question with Question 12. I know that these are comparatively footling matters, but in procedural terms, they are not footling. Footling is a very good word, I think.

Photo of Philip Dunne Philip Dunne Conservative, Ludlow

Would it form part of a preamble, Mr Speaker?

I am grateful to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the support he already gives through his Department, but many Members will have charities in their constituencies, such as Signal in Shropshire, or will individually promote charities, such as the Hotcourses Foundation. What more can my right hon. Friend do to support British charities that do excellent work in Africa?

Photo of Rory Stewart Rory Stewart The Secretary of State for International Development

Two quick points: first, we must understand that Signal in Shropshire, which does work on hearing loss, is a really important symbol of the kind of work that small charities can do, and it is an inspiration to all of us in this country to invest more in technology to deal with hearing loss. We are terribly bad with our technology investments on this issue; we could transform it. Secondly, I return to the idea that we need officials from DFID to work much more closely with these charities to make it easier for them to get our support.

Photo of Chris Green Chris Green Conservative, Bolton West

Archbishop Warda of Erbil, Iraq, recently highlighted the fact that very little international aid reaches the persecuted Christians locally because of the way that it is distributed. What can my right hon. Friend do to correct that problem?

Photo of Rory Stewart Rory Stewart The Secretary of State for International Development

First, it is shocking to hear this from the Archbishop of Erbil. We should pay tribute to what the Kurdistan Regional Government have been doing to look after an incredible number of displaced people in Iraq, but it is certainly true that Christians and Yazidis have suffered terribly through the fighting in Syria and Iraq and through persecution led by Daesh in particular. This Department must do more to protect Christians around the world if they are vulnerable, marginalised and abused.