This afternoon the First Minister announced Scotland’s ‘Programme for Government’ in the Scottish Parliament.
Chapter five of the Programme includes five significant international development commitments:
1. Renewal of our historic partnership agreement with the Government of Malawi which is based on 150 years of shared history and friendship and promotes the enduring values of tolerance and promotes the enduring values of tolerance, fairness and equality and the sharing of experiences and skills for mutual benefit
2. An increased £10 million per annum International Development Fund (IDF) from spring 2017, to continue to take action to help tackle poverty and inequalities in relation to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable. This includes funding the Small Grants Programme designed to support smaller Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) deliver assistance to some of the world’s most vulnerable communities. This will strengthen the third sector in Scotland and create more opportunities for people to get involved in quality development work overseas
3. A new £1 million per annum humanitarian aid fund from spring 2017, enabling us to continue to respond to the increasing number of rapidly emerging international humanitarian crises. Scotland already makes a significant contribution through our NGOs and individuals but Scottish Ministers have also made contributions on a number of occasions since 2009 including most recently the refugee situation in Europe and the Nepal earthquake, to reflect Scotland’s role as a good global citizen and caring nation
4. Increasing the Climate Justice Fund to at least £3 million a year for the next five years for international projects where the worst impact of climate change is falling on poor and vulnerable communities
5. Funding of training for at least 50 women every year from International Conflict Zones to give them the skills and confidence to maximise their contribution to building a safer world by involvement in UN peace processes. We have already committed £365,000 in the current financial year so that a total of 50 women will have been trained by spring next year
The Scotland Malawi Partnership warmly welcomes all these commitments.
Malawi is a country which has benefitted from all three of these innovative funds and we have no doubt that today's announcement with help transform lives in some of the poorest communities in Malawi.
We believe the Scottish Government is able to achieve incredible impact across these three funds because of its commitment to working through dignified two-way partnerships and to constructively engaging wider civic society.
The funding commitments announced today will allow the Scottish Government to further develop its role as a good global citizen, not least through its 150+ year old people-to-people friendship with Malawi.
Furthermore, we welcome the Scottish Government’s commitment to the Open Government Partnership, the ‘Beyond Aid’ agenda and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The 2016 ‘Programme for Government’ states:
- To highlight the Government’s commitment to reform on the international stage, we are working with the Open Government Partnership (OGP) to develop a Scottish national action plan to be published this winter. It will set out concrete commitments on openness, transparency and the involvement of people and communities in the decisions that affect their lives. Scotland has been granted pioneer status because of its leadership role in OGP reform and innovation.
- We also increasingly shape our view of international development through the lens of the ‘Beyond Aid’ agenda to help make a difference. This means going beyond aid to include trade, migration, investment, environmental issues, security and technology, to shape the development prospects for many countries.
- We have committed to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and will play our part in working to achieve them by 2030. The Scottish Government seeks to influence issues that matter most in helping Scotland flourish through a dual commitment to tacking poverty and inequality at home while helping overseas countries grow in a fair and sustainable manner.