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Non-Governmental Organisations

Volume 281: debated on Tuesday 16 July 1996

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many and which national non-governmental organisations running development programmes overseas qualify for annual block grants; how much each NGO received for each financial year from 1992–93 to 1996–97; what are the criteria for qualifying for block grants; and if he will make a statement. [37347]

Five United Kingdom non-governmental organisations currently receive annual block grants from the joint funding scheme of the Overseas Development Administration for their development work overseas. The five are CAFOD, Christian Aid, Oxfam, Save the Children Fund and the Worldwide Fund for Nature. Under the block grant arrangements, ODA provides up to 50 per cent. of the cost of individual development projects. The grants provided to each of these organisations in the financial years from 1992–93 to 1996–97 are set out in the table.

The ODA's fundamental expenditure review, completed in 1995, recommended that the block grant arrangements should be extended to NGOs which had, in each of the preceding three financial years, received £750,000 or more through the joint funding scheme for its development projects. The award of any new block grant would be subject to the NGO in question satisfying an audit by ODA of its financial and technical management procedures.