Aid charities request flexible core funding to help UK meet development goals

19 Jul 2022 News

The UK government should provide long-term, flexible, core funding to charities if it is to meet global development targets, according to a report by a body representing civil society organisations.

According to the UK’s Global Contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals 2022 report, commissioned by Bond, the country is currently at risk of breaking its commitment to meet targets on climate change, extreme poverty, gender inequality and human rights abuses.

The report warns of critical gaps in the UK’s strategy to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which it, along with 192 other UN member states, agreed to deliver by 2030.
To achieve a target on capacity building, the report states the UK government should “prioritise transformational partnerships that provide long-term, flexible, core funding that give civil society organisations the power to make decisions themselves”. 

It says the government should “enable communities to lead, and focus on providing support and funding directly to local civil society organisations so that local actors are involved in the decisions that affect them and their communities”.

The Bond report finds progress on every SDG is stalling, which means the UK may break its international commitment to deliver the SDGs by 2030 unless urgent action is taken.

'Engagement between government and civil society must be meaningful'

The report reads: “The UK could play a transformative and influential role in achieving the SDGs. To do so, urgent action is needed to unite civil society, academia, the private sector, local government and others to collectively implement an ambitious plan.”

It adds that in order to effectively advocate for and achieve the goals in the run up to 2030, it is encouraging civil society organisations to use the SDGs more explicitly.

“Engagement between government and civil society must be meaningful, inclusive and deliberative,” it states.
Stephanie Draper, chief executive at Bond, urged the next prime minister to make the SDGs a central framework for the government so that the UK can achieve these targets by 2030.

She said: “To ensure we leave no one behind, this government must show strong leadership on the SDGs, working with civil society to set out a clear and accountable action plan to deliver on its commitments.”
Danny Sriskandarajah, chief executive at Oxfam GB, said though the UK played a key role in shaping the SDGs, “it has spent recent years back-sliding on its commitments to help the poorest”.

He said its new strategy seems more focused on promoting its short-term interests rather than tackling long term global challenges.

Sriskandarajah added: “The UK can still play an important leadership role to get us back on track.”

A Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office spokesperson said: “Development is at the heart of the UK’s foreign policy, which uses all the levers available – including development, diplomacy, investment, trade, defence and intelligence – to deliver on our foreign policy objectives.

“The UK brings powerful economic and political tools to our development partnerships: aid, diplomacy, trade, investment, expertise and influence. We will use those to meet the evolving needs of our partners and support achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

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