Aid groups need to be at the front of the fight against the global virus
Billions of pounds will be lost by the international development sector during the coronavirus pandemic, new research has found.
Bond, the umbrella body for the sector, said up to 40% of income could be wiped off accounts as a result of the outbreak.
That amounts to around £4bn and will have massive repercussions for international operations.
Aid groups often have very high core costs but combined with a drop in fundraising as well as funding, many are having to furlough or pay off staff.
Bond said around 60% of groups surveyed said they were already cutting back staff both in the UK and overseas.
Graham MacKay, chief operating officer at Bond, said: “Many smaller NGOs, or those with low reserves or unable to furlough staff, need financial support to avoid further job losses or programme cuts."
The UK government announced new funding for UK aid charities to help fight coronavirus, with the Red Cross the main beneficiary of extra cash.
The Department for International Development (DFID) has released £200m in funding for global development organisations, of which £50m will go to the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement.
A further £130m will go to United Nations bodies, and £20m will be available to international aid charities, including those based in the UK.
Alexander Mattheou, executive director of international at the British Red Cross, said: “The British Red Cross, part of the global Red Cross movement, is responding right now here in the UK, including supporting our NHS. However, at the end of day, the global response will only be as effective as the weakest health system.
“We must support the most vulnerable countries now as part of an effort to keep us all safe.”