1 March 2011
Tearfund today welcomed DFID’s continued commitment to increasing the aid budget and to ensuring that aid is as focused and effective as possible. This inevitably means that there will be some tough choices about where DFID spends its money.
Tearfund is broadly happy with the portfolio of countries that DFID will continue to work in. It is surprising that countries such as Niger and Burundi – amongst the poorest in the world – will have bilateral funding withdrawn.
We hope that DFID have done their homework and have identified other donors and multilateral bodies who will continue to support the most vulnerable communities in these countries.
Niger is likely to suffer from a severe food crisis again this year and we know from our work on the ground that it is much more cost effective to prevent a disaster before it happens than it is to provide emergency aid to save lives. It is therefore important that DFID continues to support the EU, World Food Programme, World Bank and others to build the resilience of local people in Niger to help them prepare for food shortages more effectively.
Places such as Haiti and Pakistan, have demonstrated how disasters can set back development gains by decades. Preparing communities for disasters is something that DFID have said that they will prioritise. So the decision to cut all funding to the UN International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction has come as a shock.
Extreme weather conditions, associated with climate change, are on the increase. So we hope that this does not indicate that disaster risk reduction is dropping off of the agenda at DFID and that they will ensure that funding for this vital sector, which delivers excellent value for money, will be delivered through other mechanisms.
Tearfund welcomes the prominence that water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) receives in the DFID reviews. Sanitation is the most off-track MDG target in Sub-Saharan Africa and so it is right that it is prioritised in places like DRC, Liberia and Malawi. However, Tearfund feels the reviews fail to go far enough in addressing this neglected sector.
We believe that UK aid could be used to give 100m more people access to WASH by 2015 and will continue to call for this level of ambition over the coming years.
Tearfund also welcomes the announcement that the UK will increase aid to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. Since 2002 the Fund has saved over five million people from these three killer diseases and full replenishment (including fair contribution from the UK of £840m between 2011-2013) would enable 7.5m more people to access life-saving HIV medicine. We will continue to urge DFID to provide this scale of funding.
NOTES TO EDITORS
For more information and an interviews with Tearfund’s Director of Advocacy please contact Esther Williams on 0208 943 7779 / 07595 202 438, email@example.com or the media team on 0208 943 7792