Resourcing

The RAF has no spare cash or spare personnel.

This means, if we are to expand the conflict prevention activities conducted by the RAF and/or Army Air Corps, there has to be new sources of both funding and personnel.

The use of ex RAF and AAC personnel, sponsored reserves, contractors, other government department personnel and RN/Army/RAF reserves should all be considered as part of any personnel matrix. Given that the objective is build host nation capacity, the fundamental principle of  using host nation personnel is central to success.

In cash terms, the Building Stability Overseas Strategy (BSOS) provides an obvious route to funding.

The overall conflict pool settlement was £683 million in financial year 2014-15, with peacekeeping at £444 million and the Conflict Pool at £329 million. The conflict pool allocations are shown in the below.

Conflict Pool Allocations
Programme Financial Year 2013-14 Allocation(£m) Financial Year Allocation 2014-15 (£m)
Afghanistan 45 26.8
Africa 51.5 53.7
Middle East and North Africa (MENA) 39 60*
South Asia 20 20.5
Strengthening Alliances and Partnerships (SAP) 10 12
Wider Europe 36 35.2
Stabilisation Unit 10.8 10.8
Early Action Facility (EAF) 20 20*
TOTAL 232.3** 239
*£5 million has been pre-committed from the £20 million EAF to the MENA programme ** Includes over commitment of available resources by £3.3 million

The Middle East and North Africa programme (MENA) included additional resources for the crises in Syria and Libya as well as their regional consequences. Lebanon, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Yemen, Bahrain, Egypt, Tunisia and Iraq also received funding. The Africa programme included funding for Somalia, Nigeria, the Sahel region, North and South Sudan, Zimbabwe, East and Central Africa, and with the African Union.

The 2015 SDSR included provision for the £1.5 Billion Joint Security Fund and other changes to overseas development assistance parameters.

From the Commons Library a description of the funding landscape for confict prevention, Changing parameters of Overseas Development Assistance

An area where scope for flexibility has been identified in supporting the budgets of ‘non-protected’ government departments like the FCO is through increased counting of their spending as Overseas Development Assistance (ODA – as defined by the OECD). The UK’s ODA budget has reached the UN target of 0.7% of Gross National Income and the Government is committed to maintaining this level of spending.

In a significant move, ODA was now to be used to serve the national interest.

The Conflict, Security and Stability Fund starts up…

The Conflict, Security and Stability Fund (CSSF) became operational in April 2015. A beefed-up version of the tri-departmental (FCO, MOD, DFID) Conflict Pool but now managed and controlled by the National Security Council, it represents an attempt to fulfil the long-standing aspiration for a ‘whole of government’ approach to national security. The CSSF has become the main mechanism for the implementation of the 2011 Building Stability Overseas Strategy (BSOS), which sets out the conflict prevention agenda originally called for by the 2010 NSS. A key element of the UK’s conflict prevention agenda during the last parliament was a greater focus through UK ODA on fragile and conflict-affected states. This has been achieved: the target set was to spend 30% of UK ODA on them by 2014-15. In 2013, 43% of UK ODA was spent on them. This upward trend looks likely continue over the next five years.

It is clear that the UK sees conflict prevention as a significant part of the remit of Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) and that funding will follow.

 A key element of the UK’s conflict prevention agenda during the last parliament was a greater focus through UK ODA on fragile and conflict-affected states. This has been achieved: the target set was to spend 30% of UK ODA on them by 2014-15. In 2013, 43% of UK ODA was spent on them. This upward trend looks likely continue over the next five years. First announced in 2013 and funded from core departmental budgets, the CSSF is worth £1.033 billion in 2015/16. The Government has said that, under the departmental allocations from the Fund in 2015-16, the FCO will receive £738.8 million, the MOD £191.5 million, DFID £59.9 million, and other departments and agencies £42.81 million. The CSSF can be counted as ODA or towards the pledge to spend 2% of the national budget on defence – or both, if this is “consistent with the classification guidelines”.

What does this tell us?

There is cash available for conflict prevention, serious cash, and that priorities or delivery mechanisms can be changed.

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of
avatar
wpDiscuz
↓