To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether she plans to introduce a stabilisation fund for international non-governmental organisations to continue to deliver aid to people living in extreme poverty in the global south.
Civil society organisations (CSOs) are key partners for DFID in our response to COVID-19 and we have pledged new funding specifically for CSOs to support our work to tackle the virus. This includes funding allocated through the Rapid Response Facility and significant funding through the DFID Unilever COVID-19 Hygiene and Behaviour Change Coalition. A new UK Aid Direct funding round has also been launched, some of which has been set aside for rapid access by existing UK Aid Direct grant holders who are able to respond immediately to COVID-19. In addition, International Non-Government Organisations will receive funding through multilateral organisations as downstream partners as part of the UK’s response. As DFID’s country network adapts programming to respond to COVID-19, country teams are considering how they can do this through partners, including through CSOs.
We are working flexibly with existing civil society partners to respond to the pandemic, maintain delivery of essential programmes and manage the impacts on organisations and staff. DFID is also offering support to all suppliers, including civil society, in line with the provisions of the Cabinet Office Procurement Policy Note and associated guidance for grants. This 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. UK-based CSOs are also eligible for the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
NGOs are fundamental parts of DFID’s work. Given DFID’s support for them runs so deeply through everything we do, there is no plan to create a specific fund.