Gareth Thomas
DFID – Department for International Development Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State
1 Palace Street, London SW1E SHE
Direct Line 020 7023 0462
Direct Fax 02070230831

June 2005

To: Peter Simpson
Flat 36
40 Eastcote Road
Middlesex HAS 1DH

Thank you for your letter of 16 May about the Palestinian Non-Governmental Organisation (PNGO) Network and its support for the boycott of Israeli universities by the Association of University Teachers (AUT). You inquired in particular whether the UK funds the PNGO Network, and what action DFID is taking to prevent either UK or EU funds being used in this way.

DFID has no direct funding or other relationship with PNGO. Although it is no longer a focus area for our programme, DFID has in the past supported the development of Palestinian civil society, in particular those NGOs who focus on delivering health, education and water to poor communities. Some of these NGOs may be members of the PNGO network, but our support has been aligned exclusively to developmental outcomes. Nor is DFID is aware of direct EU funding for PNGO. The NGO Monitor article attached to your letter refers to the ‘historic and ongoing financial support for Palestinian NGOs’ given by the EC and EU member states, rather than any specific funding provided by them to the PNGO Network. This form of EU support helps to provide food aid, improve living conditions, and promote cross-culture dialogue. It is not therefore something that the UK Government would wish to oppose.

I hope this is helpful.