HC Deb 06 May 1999 vol 330 cc455-6W
Dr. Tonge

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on the remit of the civil society unit in her Department. [83079]

Mr. Foulkes

The civil society unit, which was formerly called the NGO Unit, will continue to administer the Joint Funding Scheme, and will administer its successor, the new Civil Society Challenge Fund, and new Partnership Programme Agreements. The Civil Society Challenge Fund will have a focused approach to strengthening civil society in developing countries and will be open to a wide range of UK civil society groups. Partnership Programme Agreements will set out shared objectives with organisations engaged in a range of the Department for International Development's strategic concerns and will provide strategic funding links with the Department. More generally, the Unit will seek to widen our relationships with civil society organisations in the UK who share our objectives of the elimination of world poverty.

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