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Freeze on UK-based awareness projects

An immediate freeze on new funding for ‘awareness projects’, in a drive to refocus aid spending, was announced today by DFID Secretary of State Andrew Mitchell.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Five existing projects will be stopped at once, saving over half a million pounds, while all other UK-based projects will be scrutinised in an urgent review.  A further stop has been put on projects totalling more than £6.5m, with immediate effect.

Projects will be tested to ensure they are providing maximum value for money, with a halt on funding for any project that fails to meet tough results-based criteria.

Projects to be cancelled immediately include:

  • £146,000 for a Brazilian-style dance troupe with percussion in Hackney
  • £55,000 to run stalls at summer music festivals
  • £120,000 to train nursery school teachers about ‘global issues’
  • £130,000 for a ‘Global Gardens Schools Network’
  • £140,000 to train outdoor education tutors in Britain on development

Funding will be redirected to areas where it will have a greater impact on global poverty.

Secretary of State, Andrew Mitchell, said:

People want to see British aid money saving lives and educating children in the world’s poorest countries.

There is a legitimate role for development education in the UK but I do not believe these projects give the taxpayer value for money.

At this difficult economic time, it is crucial that our money is spent where it makes the most difference.

Today I send a clear signal:  value for money will be our top priority for aid.

Updates to this page

Published 17 May 2010