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Conflict, Stability and Security Fund

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 156387, tabled on 21 June 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many projects led by his Department and funded through the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund have been terminated as a result of concerns about funding being diverted to terrorist groups.

Answered on

4 July 2018

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) spent over 61% of the £1,182m Conflict Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) in FY 17/18, running programmes across the world. FCO-led foreign policy projects and programmes help advance our national security interests and the UK Aid Strategy’s objectives. Decisions on ending programmes are based on a wide range of factors. We take robust and swift action if there are allegations of funds being diverted to terrorist groups, and we continue to apply HMG’s Overseas Security and Justice Assistance (OSJA) guidance. The OSJA guidance is designed to ensure that our assistance meets the UK’s human rights obligations and values.

Since the start of FY 17/18 we have made the decision to close two Conflict Stability and Security Fund projects in relation to which concerns of this nature had been raised.

The first of these is the Access to Justice and Community Service (AJACS) programme. We have recently made a decision to draw down funding to this programme by the end of September. The AJACS project supports security and stability in opposition-held regions of Syria by supporting the operation of the Free Syria Police. Over recent months, we judge the situation on the ground in those regions has become more difficult, shifting the balance between the potential gains and the risks of this project. Risks include those relating to proper use of programme funds, influence of armed groups, and human rights.

The second project is subject to post-contract due diligence, and as such I am unable to offer more information at this stage.