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Lords to examine impact of UK aid cuts on viability of Voluntary Service Overseas programmes

19 March 2021

Next week, the House of Lords International Relations and Defence Committee will question Philip Goodwin, the Chief Executive and Tim Newman, Global Head of Business Pursuit at the Voluntary Services Organisation International (VSO) on uncertainty over the renewal of the Volunteering for Development grant from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

The Committee is concerned that the Government’s decision to cut spending on official development assistance to 0.5% of gross national income (GNI) from next month may result in significant cuts to VSO’s work.

The International Relations and Defence Committee has consistently opposed the Government’s decision to break the UK’s commitment to spend 0.7% of GNI on ODA from 2021.

The session will start at 10am on Wednesday 24 March 2021, and will be available to watch live or on demand at Parliament TV.

Questions likely to be asked are:

  • How significant is the Volunteering for Development grant to the budget of VSO as a whole?
  • What have you been told by the Government about the prospects for the renewal of the Volunteering for Development grant? What is the timeline for this funding decision to be reached?
  • If the Volunteering for Development grant is not renewed, what would be the consequences for your organisation and your programmes? Would it be possible for you to scale back your work temporarily, or would cuts now have a serious long-term impact?

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