Bond statement as the UK leaves the EU: “The UK’s departure from the EU must not leave people facing poverty across the world worse off”

Stephanie Draper, CEO of Bond the UK network for NGOs said:

“The UK’s departure from the EU must not leave people facing poverty across the world worse off. UK development and humanitarian organisations are some of the most experienced, innovative and impactful in the world, so it is in everyone’s interest to continue our partnership with the EU. Both parties will then be able to benefit from sharing resources, learning, and skills which in turn will provide better value for money and increase our joint impact.

We would urge the UK government to engage UK civil society in the negotiations with the EU on development and humanitarian cooperation so we can secure a relationship that builds on existing strengths. We would ask they support civil society to maintain its voice at the European level so we can continue to inform each other’s development and humanitarian programmes, particularly where the UK contributes funds or is working in partnerships with the EU institutions and Member States.

As UK CSOs, we are also calling for accessible joint funded EU-UK development and humanitarian funding streams and programmes.”


Notes to editor

  1. Bond is the UK network for organisations working in international development. Bond unites and supports a diverse network of over 400 civil society organisations from across the UK, and allies to help eradicate global poverty, inequality, and injustice.
  2. On the 27 March 2019, the UK government committed to protecting the UK’s world-class aid organisations in the event of a no-deal by over any development funding implemented by UK NGOs which the EU would stop in a no-deal scenario:
  3. A major impact will be the likely diminishing capital and influence of UK CSOs in policy and programming within and outside the EU. UK CSOs have traditionally had a strong and powerful voice in policy and advocacy. Like the UK government, they have been an effective influencing force at the European level, promoting a progressive development agenda with like-minded countries. If UK organisations are unable to continue advocating at the European level, there will be a serious gap in capacity and resources for development cooperation in the EU and the UK.
  4. The UK is the second-largest recipient of EU aid to CSOs of both grants and service contracts. Between 2012-16, EU development and humanitarian aid to UK CSOs amounted to an average of €300million in fresh commitments each year. Bond estimates that losing access to ECHO funding, would mean a loss to the UK NGO sector of around £160m and £200m of annual income will be lost, and it could signal the end of the UK’s relative pre-eminence as an ECHO partner. Overall Bond estimates that if UK NGOs lose access to European development funding that it would reduce UK NGO’s capacity between £107m and £319m.
  5. For further information please contact Maryam Mohsin on 07555 336029 or [email protected]