Department for International Development
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Freeze on UK-based awareness projects

An immediate freeze on new funding for ‘awareness projects’, in a drive to refocus aid spending, was announced today by DFID Secretary of State Andrew Mitchell.

Five existing projects will be stopped at once, saving over half a million pounds, while all other UK-based projects will be scrutinised in an urgent review.  A further stop has been put on projects totalling more than £6.5m, with immediate effect.

Projects will be tested to ensure they are providing maximum value for money, with a halt on funding for any project that fails to meet tough results-based criteria.

Projects to be cancelled immediately include:

  • £146,000 for a Brazilian-style dance troupe with percussion in Hackney
  • £55,000 to run stalls at summer music festivals
  • £120,000 to train nursery school teachers about ‘global issues’
  • £130,000 for a ‘Global Gardens Schools Network’
  • £140,000 to train outdoor education tutors in Britain on development

Funding will be redirected to areas where it will have a greater impact on global poverty.

Secretary of State, Andrew Mitchell, said:

“People want to see British aid money saving lives and educating children in the world’s poorest countries.

“There is a legitimate role for development education in the UK but I do not believe these projects give the taxpayer value for money.

“At this difficult economic time, it is crucial that our money is spent where it makes the most difference.

“Today I send a clear signal:  value for money will be our top priority for aid.”

Notes to Editors

  • DFID will give the five affected projects three months’ notice of termination and is doing so under the terms of the grant arrangements.
  • DFID had committed £6.5m to a new development awareness programme called The Global Development Engagement Fund.  This will now be suspended.
  • The amounts for each project given are estimates.
  • Details of current development awareness programmes are available on the DFID website.

For more information telephone 020 7023 0504 or email

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