‘DFID must maintain funding scheme’ – Ritchie
SDLP South Down MP Margaret Ritchie is urging the UK Department for International Development (DFID) to renew their matched funding scheme through which DFID matched pound-for pound public donations to appeals for development activities focused on poverty reduction in developing countries.
Speaking to Newry Times, Ritchie stated, “DFID’s website states that the UK Aid matched funding scheme ‘will be reopened in 2013’ but following my recent parliamentary question and having been in contact with department officials I am under the impression that the whole programme is under review by the Secretary of State.
“I was also informed that no decision would be taken until April and that is too late for many charities to plan their campaigns for this year. It is deeply worrying that the Department may be considering axing this successful programme.
“For many charities who were successful in applying for the scheme last year, including Trocaire’s Lenten campaign, this was an important revenue stream that provided matched government funding for campaigns that could demonstrate clear development outcomes and a large degree of public support.
Ritchie added, “I will continue to press the Secretary of State on this and I hope that the British government renews its commitment to this programme as soon as possible.”
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