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£1m of overseas aid to go back to States to help with coronavirus response

Credit: ITV Channel TV

£1m of Guernsey's Overseas Aid budget is being returned to the exchequer to help with the States' response to coronavirus.

The Overseas Aid Commission says grants for projects in 2021 are being suspended, with much of the work planned for this year also being cancelled.

That means around £1m will remain unspent, meaning the Commission can return it to the General Revenue.

The President of the Commission says the coronavirus has showed how interconnected the world is and how the States still has a commitment to overseas aid.

We recognise that the effect of coronavirus around the world means it will not be possible, for at least the next few months, to safely deliver many of the programmes we usually support. And, locally, the crisis has put enormous pressure on the public sector, and we've all had to consider scaling back business as usual so we can free people up to support the pandemic response.

What we do want to emphasise is that this should not change the States' commitment to providing aid and support for international development in the long term. The coronavirus has shown just how connected a world we are, and helping other countries to recover will also benefit our own Bailiwick. But while it's not possible to do our usual work safely and effectively, we are glad to be able to support the local effort to address the crisis.

– Deputy Emilie McSwiggan, President of the Overseas Aid & Development Commission

The Commissions says it will continue with its normal approach to Emergency Relief funding, which has budget of £350,000 this year.

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