Standing against the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund

On 4 June we handed in a petition from 4,672 UK citizens standing up and calling on Theresa May to close the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF).

The fact that thousands of people felt motivated to call for the fund to close, shows that many are fed up with publically funded aid money being diverted from alleviating poverty. Under the CSSF, which is half funded from the aid budget, money is going towards funding security forces across the world, and what’s worse in some cases the fund supports security forces accused of human rights abuses.  

UK aid has been in the news over and over again in the last few years. Each and every time, the headlines it garners are for the wrong reasons. All over the world, aid is being misused.

The CSSF is supposed to provide “development and security support to countries which are at risk of conflict or instability”. But given the string of scandals, from funding human rights abuses in Bahrain, to funding extremists in Syria, it’s clear that this core objective is often not being met.

Just today, aid made headlines as it was revealed that 20% of projects in China are “explicitly promoting the capabilities of UK entities alone”. Rather than actually reaching and benefiting those most in need of aid, UK companies have funnelled money into, among other things, developing the Chinese film industry, improving the Chinese museum infrastructure and improving the credit bond rating system in China. While this isn’t to say that arts and culture aren’t important, aid money is legally bound to reducing poverty overseas and helping the world’s most vulnerable people. It’s hard to understand how spending in such a manner helps fulfil this aim.

Global Justice Now has a long history of holding the government to account on how aid money is spent. And we will continue to do so until we ensure that it is reaching those that really need it and it makes a long term difference to building a more just, equal and sustainable world.

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