Press release

Government doubles charity donations to improve lives of world’s poorest

25 charities have benefitted from UK Aid match funding which together with public donations means more than £66 million for life-changing projects globally.

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The British public have had their own charitable donations doubled through the government’s UK Aid match scheme, the Prime Minister will announce later today (Wednesday 6 June) at a reception in Downing Street.

25 charities across the UK will have their charitable appeals for 2017/18 boosted, raising a total of £66 million, for life-changing projects in 20 different countries around the world. Government funding of more than £30 million by UK Aid Match is the largest annual contribution by the programme since 2013.

Prime Minister Theresa May made the announcement at a reception for Soccer Aid for Unicef which has raised £24 million in the last 12 years to support vulnerable children around the world since it started. She welcomed charities, school children and celebrities to celebrate contributions of British charity givers and the power of British aid to change the lives of some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people.

Through UK Aid Match for every £1 donated, the government will contribute £1, giving the British public a say in how aid is spent, helping these projects to go even further.

The programme has helped save lives and create new opportunities for thousands of people across some of the poorest parts of the world. It has helped vaccinate children against preventable killer diseases, given people clean drinking water and food, stopped infectious diseases from reaching our shores and helped to create jobs so people can earn a living.

Prime Minister Theresa May said:

These charities do vital work improving the lives of some of the world’s poorest people and so I am pleased that the Government is able to double the impact they can have, bringing the total raised to more than £60 million.

We could not have done this without the extraordinary generosity of people in the UK and their determination to support others in need.

Today’s reception is a chance to celebrate charity workers and the kindness of those who help raise money including the Unicef, Soccer Aid participants who have previously raised £24 million to support vulnerable children around the world.

Secretary of State for International Development Penny Mordaunt said:

UK aid will continue to work to make the world – and ultimately the UK – a better, safer and more prosperous place and through UK Aid Match we are giving the British public a say in how the aid budget is spent. We will be matching all UK public donations to Soccer Aid for Unicef pound-for-pound up to £5 million.

I want to say a huge thank you to the British public whose fundraising efforts are helping save lives around the world. Today’s reception is about them.

Unicef UK Executive Director Mike Penrose said:

We are incredibly grateful to the Prime Minister for hosting this important celebration of UK aid and the huge impact it has for children around the world.

Soccer Aid for Unicef is a prime example of the power of the British public – digging deep and showing their generosity time and time again. And with the UK government matching public donations for Soccer Aid for Unicef pound-for-pound this year, together we can make double the difference for children.

The UK government is currently matching public donations to Soccer Aid for Unicef. The appeal culminates in a charity football match, taking place this Sunday (10 June) at Old Trafford in Manchester.

Donations to Soccer Aid for Unicef matched by UK Aid Match will go towards ending preventable diseases in children, saving the lives of new born babies and helping to end child hunger in Eswatini (formerly known as Swaziland) and Lesotho.

Read the PM’s full speech to the Soccer Aid reception

Published 6 June 2018