Standard Chartered and the UK Government will each double the value of donations from UK readers to this year’s Financial Times Seasonal Appeal in aid of Sightsavers.
The seasonal appeal runs from 21 November 2011 to mid-January and will feature coverage of Sightsavers’ work and encourage readers to donate.
The government’s commitment is made through UK Aid Match, a £30 million scheme that will match public donations to fundraising appeals for international development causes. It is open to any organisation running an appeal in the UK for public donations for poverty reduction work in developing countries. Applications can be made by any not-for-profit organisation, or by an organisation publicising an appeal for a not-for-profit organisation, such as a newspaper. Each successful application can be funded up to a maximum of £5 million.
Standard Chartered has already committed to match donations from UK readers through its community investment programme, Seeing is Believing. With this and the Government’s commitment, this means that every £1 given by a member of the UK public will result in £3 going towards the appeal.
Andrew Mitchell, Secretary of State for International Development, said: “The British public has repeatedly shown its generosity during tough economic times, supporting charities’ life-altering work in some of the world’s poorest countries. We are responding to that generosity of spirit by matching public support for Sightsavers pound for pound – and working with Standard Chartered means the charity can triple its impact.”
Dr Caroline Harper, CEO, Sightsavers, commented: “I am delighted that the UK government is involving the UK public in the way the international aid budget is spent. Of the 39 million people in the world who are blind, 90 per cent live in developing countries. This match funding will have a huge impact on the amount of people we will be able to help through the Financial Times appeal.”