The Cabinet Office yesterday published the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund's (CSSF) Annual Report for the Financial Year (FY) 2020/21.
The CSSF is a unique cross-government fund that tackles conflicts and challenges to UK interests arising from instability overseas. Operating in 87 countries and territories, the Fund had a budget of 1.26bn in FY 2020/21.
The CSSF faced difficult delivery challenges during 2020/21 due to the global Covid-19 pandemic. However, its ability to provide innovative and integrated solutions to complex global issues allowed it to make a valuable contribution to the UK's international COVID-19 response. For instance the Fund was able to quickly realign existing programmes to enable a vaccination programme that reached 80% of the total population in the UK's Overseas Territories.
The speed and scale of the CSSF's response highlighted the value the Fund brings as an agile and flexible cross-government fund.
The Government's Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy, published in March 2021, identifies a number of emerging National Security challenges. These include the growth of state-based threats, instability and strategic competition, and climate change. While the Fund already works on many of these issues, moving forward there will be continued alignment to ensure its work is delivering on the objectives of the Integrated Review as closely as possible.
In 2020/21 the Fund centred activity around four key areas: conflict and stability; state threats; transnational threats; and women, peace and security. The Annual Report details the work being undertaken worldwide under these headings; from community reconciliation work in Somalia; combating disinformation in Ukraine; to tackling the narcotics trade in the British Virgin Islands and helping Syrian women's rights organisations to survive.
Moving forward the CSSF will focus on how it improves monitoring, evaluating and learning from its ongoing programming, to ensure that we improve the high quality of our work around the world.