I wish to update the House on how the Government has been supporting our national security interests through conflict prevention, peace building, stabilisation, peacekeeping and conflict resolution using the Conflict Stability and Security Fund (CSSF).
Details of the programmes funded by the CSSF and its impact so far are in the first Annual Report, a copy of which will be placed in the library of the House. The publication of this first report reflects the Government’s commitment to transparency in the delivery of Official Development Assistance. We will be updating GOV.UK pages with more information on the CSSF and individual programmes.
The CSSF replaced the Conflict Pool in April 2015, as part of a new, more strategic approach to enhancing the delivery of our national security interests directed by the National Security Council (NSC).
As announced in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), CSSF funding has continued to increase and will be £1.162 billion in 2017/18. The CSSF is now one of the world’s largest mechanisms for addressing conflict and instability. Its programmes deliver against more than 40 cross Government strategies set by the National Security Council (NSC). These help to secure the UK, promote peace and stability overseas and contribute directly to SDSR objectives.
Parliamentary accountability for taxpayers’ money spent via the CSSF is provided primarily through the Joint Committee for the National Security Strategy (JCNSS). The JCNSS concluded its first inquiry into the CSSF in February. We have responded to the inquiry report and are taking forward many of their recommendations. Further announcements on governance will be made in due course.
Meeting both our legal and policy gender commitments is central to the delivery of the CSSF. Last year the CSSF spent £214.5 million on programmes which addressed gender equality. For example the CSSF in the Democratic Republic of Congo supported the provision of free legal assistance to 269 victims of international war crimes, of which 179 were women, mostly victims of sexual violence.
In addition to supporting peace building activity, CSSF funding is strengthening the multilateral system, supporting the UN and other international organisations to develop more effective multilateral responses to instability. The CSSF funds our contributions (known as assessed costs) to the UN peacekeeping budget. We are the sixth biggest contributor, spending over £300 million in 2016/17. In addition, we have been using CSSF funds to help reform the UN and UN peacekeeping, coordinating outreach to Member States to secure pledges of personnel for peace operations and to assist with the transition from pledges to deployments. In 2016/17 the CSSF provided a further £15m to fund the doubling of the UK’s troop contribution to peacekeeping through two new deployments: 70 UK military personnel to support UNSOS in Somalia, which provides essential logistical support for the African Union Mission (AMISOM) that is combating the terrorist organisation Al Shabaab; and 370 UK military personnel to provide engineering and medical support to the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
To address some of the JCNSS recommendations for the CSSF a rapid review is being undertaken of Cross-Whitehall Fund governance and structures.
Conflict Stability and Security Fund resources, FY17/18
Peacekeeping & Multilateral
Security & Defence
Delivery Support, including the Stabilisation Unit & National School of Government