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Covid-19: Charities - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:30 pm on 24th March 2020.

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Photo of Lord Ramsbotham Lord Ramsbotham Crossbench 2:30 pm, 24th March 2020

My Lords, I thank the Minister for that Reply. As chairman of the National Emergencies Trust, my noble friend has been pressing the Government to put a significant amount of money into the voluntary sector for two specific reasons. First, as the Minister said, general fundraising for charities has almost completely stopped, so that even the big ones, such as the Red Cross and St John Ambulance, are struggling to survive. Secondly, is the need to resource local charities that can help people on the ground now. The amount required —between £3 billion and £5 billion—is a fraction of the £150 billion put in to save businesses and jobs.

Last week, with the support of the Duke of Cambridge, the National Emergencies Trust launched a national appeal, which to date has raised over £5 million—a mere drop in the overall ocean—which will be distributed to where it is most needed by the community foundation. Will the Minister please tell the House whether and how the Government plan to support the charitable sector?