DFID announces "last resort" relief for aid suppliers

5 May, 2020

Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, Secretary of State for International Development has written to organisations delivering aid on behalf of the department to tell them that they could be paid in advance in order to meet ongoing costs.

In the letter, sent earlier this week, Ms Trevelyan also says that payments would continue in order to support “essential aid programmes. In the note, the minister says:

“I am therefore prepared to apply the Cabinet Office Procurement Policy Note 02/20 and similar principles for grants, which allow for relief on services and goods provided in the UK, to DFID aid programmes. This means offering as a last resort and on a case-by-case basis for DFID contracts and grants:

  • Payment in advance to meet ongoing costs where there is a strong value for money case, up to a ceiling of 25% of the value of the contract
  • Support for continued cash flow for partners delivering essential aid programmes, including continuation of payments where all other options have been exhausted and the programme is paused”

However, the letter also states that DFID could not guarantee that it: “…can or should make good all of the financial impacts of the pandemic on your organisations”, indicating that some organisations may not be supported even if that means programmes falling through.

Organisations wishing to apply for relief should first ensure that:

  • Other sources of support have first been accessed or are not appropriate. Non-UK partners will be eligible for relief on DFID programmes, but expected to follow the business support measures available from their own governments first
  • Relief is cascaded promptly down supply chains to downstream partners
  • Open book accounting will apply for the period while supplier relief is provided

The relief will run until the end of June, at which point the Cabinet Office will review relief for suppliers delivering goods and services in the UK.

“My objective in offering this support is to maintain critical aid programmes, ensuring that the maximum amount of funding reaches the people who need it, and protect DFID’s capacity to respond to the impacts that COVID-19 will have over months and years in our partner countries.” Writes Anne-Marie Trevelyan.

“Together with the pipeline of new funding opportunities we are developing to respond to the pandemic, this will also help private sector and civil society partners manage impacts on your organisations.”

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