This performance review of the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund’s aid spending was published in March 2018, and we awarded an amber-red score. We made six recommendations, and have since published a follow-up review on this report in July 2019, which you can find in the ‘Further scrutiny’ tab.
The intensification of destructive conflict in a number of countries and regions since 2010 is widening the poverty gap between conflict-affected and other developing countries.
By the end of 2016 there were 65.6 million refugees and internally displaced people globally, with 84% of them living in developing countries. The total number of displaced people has increased substantially since 2010, due mainly to a few large-scale conflicts: in 2016, 32% of the global refugee population were Syrians, while refugees from Afghanistan, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan together made up another 32%.
It is estimated that by 2030 nearly half of all people living in extreme poverty will live in conflict-affected places.
Over the past decade, the UK government has significantly increased its aid to fragile and conflict-affected countries and regions. The Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) is one of its main instruments for tackling conflict and instability. Accessible to a range of government departments it combines Official Development Assistance (ODA) and non-ODA funding to support the implementation of National Security Council (NSC) strategies.
The CSSF was established in April 2015, as the latest in a series of cross-government conflict prevention funds that stretch back to 2001. Its initial annual budget of £1 billion is set to rise to £1.3 billion by 2020-21. This review only looks at the CSSF’s aid programming expenditure, which in its first two years of operation amounted to £353 and £460 million (or 34% and 41% of the CSSF’s total spending).