Department for International Development written question – answered on 4th May 2020.

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Photo of Fleur Anderson Fleur Anderson Labour, Putney

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to engage with (a) international NGOs and (b) UK charities on their response to the covid-19 pandemic.

Photo of Wendy Morton Wendy Morton Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

DFID is committed to working with and alongside international NGOs and UK charities to meet the challenges posed to both the UK and internationally by COVID-19. DFID is taking forward a structured approach to engagement with UK and international Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), incorporating strategic and technical discussions to help inform the sector’s response to the pandemic. Specifically, Baroness Sugg has chaired two round table discussions with the Chief Executive Officers from key CSOs on 3 April and the 1 May to update the sector on DFID’s COVID-19 response to date, engage with concerns across the sector, and explore how to mitigate the threats posed by COVID-19 to sector resilience.

DFID has pledged new funding specifically for civil society, including UK-based CSOs, to support the response. This includes £20 million, the majority of which will be allocated through the Rapid Response Facility, and significant funding through the DFID Unilever COVID-19 Hygiene and Behaviour Change Coalition. In addition, INGOs will receive funding through multilateral organisations as downstream partners as part of the UK’s response.

DFID is offering support to suppliers and partners where this is appropriate, in line with the UK government position and will apply the provisions of the Cabinet Office Procurement Policy Note and associated guidance for grants, which allows for relief on services and goods provided in the UK, to DFID aid programmes as a last resort and on a case-by-case basis for DFID contracts and grants.

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