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Conflict Resources

Volume 564: debated on Thursday 13 June 2013

I, together with my right hon. Friends the Secretary of State for International Development, the Member for Putney (Justine Greening), and the Secretary of State for Defence, the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), wish to update the House about our plans for funding conflict prevention, stabilisation and peacekeeping activities through the conflict resources settlement over the next two financial years. Our written ministerial statement of 19 November 2012, Official Report, column 19WS, provided details of planned allocations, covering both the conflict pool and the peacekeeping budget, for the 2010 spending round period. This statement updates the House on adjustments made to these planned allocations.

We have now reviewed conflict pool allocations for FY2013/14 and FY14/15. We intend that this funding continue to be spent within the strategic context set out by the building stability overseas strategy (BSOS). Delivering this strategy is an important priority for the Government. Enhancing genuine stability by supporting the development of societies with strong and legitimate institutions which can manage tensions peacefully is central to our national interests.

The size of the settlement increased to £664 million in FY 13/14, with the peacekeeping budget continuing to have first call on available resources. Taking into account the significant savings we secured at the UN in FY12/13, in particular in the tri-annual negotiations on the scale of contributions, £435 million has been set aside for peacekeeping budget requirements. Based on this we have allocated £229 million to the conflict pool in FY 13/14. This represents an increase of £20 million over the £209 million allocated in FY 12/13.

For FY14/15 we currently have less certainty about peacekeeping demands. We have provisionally estimated a peacekeeping top-up of £85 million from the conflict pool, giving a projected available allocation of £224 million for conflict pool programmes. Once the position is clearer, and further negotiations on UK contributions to UN peacekeeping have taken place, we will update these figures and would expect to be able to allocate some additional funding to the conflict pool for the FY 14/15. The table below shows the details.

Table 1: SR10 Total Conflict Resources (£ million)

Year

FY11/12

FY12/13

FY13/14

FY14/15

Total allocation

630

644

664

683

Peacekeeping agreed claim on the

Treasury reserve

374

374

374

374

Peacekeeping top up from pool

76

61

61

85

Conflict pool

180

209

229

224

The table below shows confirmed conflict pool allocations for individual programmes for FY 13/14 and indicative allocations for FY14/15.

Table 2: Conflict Pool Allocations

Programme

FY 13/14 (£m)

FY 14/15 (£m)

Afghanistan

45

25

Middle east and north Africa

39

35

Africa

51.5

45

Wider Europe

36

36

South Asia

20

23

Strengthening alliances and partnerships

10

13.5

Stabilising unit

10.8

10.6

Early action facility

20

20

Unallocated

-

15.9

Total

232.3*

224

* includes over £3.3 million over allocation

The middle east and north Africa programme will be increased substantially (from £23.7 million in FY12/13) to provide a major uplift for work on the crisis in Syria and its regional consequences, as well as further funding for Libya and Egypt. We will continue our commitments in Lebanon, the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Iraq.

There will also be an increased allocation for the Africa programme, mostly geared towards building momentum on security, stabilisation and the political process in Somalia. There will also be increased resource for Mali and Nigeria.

Funding for Afghanistan remains significant but is being reduced in FY13/14 as conflict pool-funded activity in Helmand decreases ahead of transition in 2014.

An increase in the south Asia programme will largely focus on Pakistan, including relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The programme will continue other regional commitments including in Nepal and Sri Lanka.

The wider Europe programme will continue to cover the costs of UK personnel in the UN peacekeeping mission in Cyprus and our commitments to EU peacekeeping and security sector reform missions in the western Balkans.

The thematic strengthening alliances and partnerships programme are receiving an increased allocation to support UN work on peacekeeping and protection issues, and for new activity on the UK-led preventing sexual violence initiative.

The conflict pool will continue to provide funding for the tri-departmental stabilisation unit. The allocation includes a small increase to cover the costs of the unit’s physical relocation to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office later in 2013.

A total of £20 million of conflict pool funding will again be ring-fenced for an early action facility (EAF) to respond to unforeseen demands in year without disrupting planned programming. In FY 12/13 the EAF was used for work in Syria, Libya, Somalia and Mali/the Sahel.

Allocations for FY14/15 remain partly indicative at this stage. They are in line with those previously agreed by the National Security Council and reported to Parliament in November 2012, with increases in line with the FY13/14 trends indicated above. In order to retain flexibility to meet priority new demands, we have retained £15.9 million as unallocated funding at this stage. As indicated above, the overall conflict pool total is based on cautious assumptions of peacekeeping budget demands and is expected to increase.