The UK Government announced this weekend that it will match fund an additional £5 million for the Disasters Emergency Committee East Africa Crisis Appeal. This will increase its total matched funding for the appeal to £10 million.
The increase comes after the UK public donated £7 million to the DEC appeal in its first 24 hours. The matched giving fund of £5 million was therefore committed within a day, raising the total for the first day to £12 million.
International Development Secretary Priti Patel said:
“I want to say a huge thank you to the British people. Once again, the life-saving generosity of the British public has exceeded all expectations with their response to this vital cause. I’ve seen first-hand how every penny really does make a huge difference to saving lives across East Africa. That’s why the Government will double donations up to £5 million this weekend to make your money go even further.”
She urged other countries to take a similar approach, adding:
“Now it’s time for the international community to step up and follow Global Britain’s [sic] lead before it’s too late.”
— DFID (@DFID_UK) March 18, 2017
More support for smaller overseas aid NGOs?
In June 2013 The Telegraph reported that Patel, then a Conservative backbencher, “said reforms could include scrapping DfID and replacing it with a trade-focused body to help businesses invest in the developing world.” This might explain her unusual reference to “Global Britain”, rather than ‘Great Britain’ or the ‘United Kingdom’, in her statement on the current international development crisis.
The Guardian, however, yesterday suggested that Ms Patel has had a change of heart and will today make a statement defending Britain’s overseas aid record. In Patel to defend aid budget as famine crisis spreads, the newspaper claimed the statement will include an announcement of “the summer launch of a new Small Charities Challenge Fund, aimed specifically at UK-registered organisations with an annual income of less than £250,000 – the first time the Dfid has dedicated funding purely to charities of this size.”
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