Aid watchdog slams Government’s controversial Conflict Fund

Aid watchdog slams Government’s controversial Conflict Fund

Date: 29 March 2018
Campaigns: Aid

Campaign group calls for closure of programme funding human rights-abusing security forces   

Commenting on the Independent Commission for Aid Impact’s (ICAI) Review of the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) released today, Aisha Dodwell of Global Justice Now said:

“This must now be the beginning of the end for this elusive fund which has been the focus of countless scandals in recent years.

“The Commission has found that there is a “lack of clear logic” for how the fund’s activities actually achieve peace, stability and security. It also found a lack of clear evidence for what the projects are achieving, with the results that are claimed often unverifiable. Even more worryingly, the review found a potential lack of effective controls in place when working with governments with poor human rights records.

“Some of the projects funded under this scheme include Bahrain’s police being supported to ‘command and control’ demonstrations, while training has been delivered to Sierra Leone’s security services in ‘public order management’. There are also accusations that funds for police forces in Syria ended up in the hands of extremist groups.

“Global Justice Now is calling for this fund to be shut down. The UK government should not be funding security forces in this way, particularly those embroiled in human rights abuses. And given that half of the fund’s budget comes from our aid money, it is outright scandalous that it exists.

“If we want to achieve goals of peace and security – part of the sustainable development goal agenda – then funding security forces and spreading militarism across the world is not the way to go about it.”

4,500 people have signed a Global Justice Now petition to the Prime Minister calling for the closure of the conflict fund.

Global Justice Now released a report on the fund in December, The Conflict, Stability and Security Fund: Diverting aid and undermining human rights.

Photo: Royal Marine unloads aid. Credit: Cpl Darren Legg RLC / MoD Crown