Devastating cuts to aid budget commence
Bond is to lose nearly half its UK government income, just weeks after criticising ministers for cutting the aid budget.
The aid agency membership body was told this week it would lose £895,000 in funding, half of the total income it receives from the government.
The government announced last November that the UK’s overseas aid budget would be cut from 0.7 per cent of gross national income to 0.5 per cent, cutting around £4bn from the total.
Bond received cash from two different funds. The first, Learning from Consortia, had its budget for the year cut from £787,000 to £306,000. Its aim was to facilitate collective learning and support 13 groups to deliver their outcomes, led by Bond and The Partnering Initiative, along with an academic advisory board. It will now close.
A second initiative, the Civil Society Collective, had its budget cut from £1m to £586,000. Its goal is to strengthen civil society organisations' ability to adapt to fast-changing environments, including adapting programmes to Covid-19.
It comes after Bond called on the prime minster to reverse the decision to cut the aid budget and to reinstate the commitment to 0.7%. Failing that, it called for an immediate vote in parliament "before further damaging and irreversible cuts to humanitarian and development programmes are made."
Stephanie Draper, chief executive of Bond, said: “UK Aid Connect allowed Bond to help make UK civil society better co-ordinated and more effective and has helped us maintain a strong and thriving network.
“However, the reality is, the government's cuts to Bond's work are nowhere near as devastating as the cuts many NGOs are facing to programmes around the world that keep girls safe and in school, deliver healthcare, as well as food and clean water to people facing war or global pandemics in countries such as Yemen and India.
“Regardless of the government's cuts to Bond, with support from our members and our other donors, we will continue to support the humanitarian and development sector in their crucial efforts to help make the world a fairer, safer, healthier and more sustainable place.”