The Government has confirmed it will commit to funding the post-March 2019 outputs of any programme funded from the ECHO’s core budget should the UK leave the European Union in a “no-deal” scenario.

The measure, published as part of its new report Delivering humanitarian aid programmes if there’s no Brexit deal, is welcome news to a number of international aid charities.

While the Government suggests that a no-deal scenario remains “unlikely”, it says it must prepare for all eventualities until it can be certain of the outcome of ongoing negotiations.

It says its commitment to funding will allow UK humanitarian aid organisations to continue bidding for funding from the core budget of the ECHO (European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations) “without undertaking unmanageable financial and programmatic risk.”

The Government adds that without continued funding after March 2019, charities could find themselves with no option other than to terminate projects “early and abruptly”, incurring high extraction costs and negative programmatic consequences. Alternatively, charities could finance projects themselves, but at a high cost to organisations.

Under the terms of the commitment, funding only applies to new applications for ECHO funding between 23 August 2018 and 29 March 2019 for projects financed by core ECHO funding delivered by UK-based NGOs.

Commenting on the announcement, international development body Bond said the commitment provides charities with “much needed reassurance”

“This commitment provides much needed reassurance to UK NGOs so they can continue to bid for EU funding without fearing cuts before a programme has ended – the impact of which would have been borne by the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people”, said Claire Godfrey, head of policy and campaigns.

To read the report in full, please click here.

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