1.       This response is submitted by the Welsh Centre for International Affairs as Third Sector Partnership Council representative for the international sector. Due to the short length of the inquiry, we’ve gathered a quick set of responses but recognise some voices may be missing. Responses have come from:

·           Wales Alliance for Global Learning members

·           Hub Cymru Africa and Wales Africa groups

·           Climate Cymru members

·           information based on conversations held with representatives from the sector

2.      What impacts has increasing costs living had on your organisation and sector so far?

2.1.   Cross-sector: Existing multi-year project funding insufficient for inflationary costs (especially salaries and running costs): some funders allow budgets to be moved between project delivery lines, but overheads remain stagnant despite increased salary and running costs leading to questions about project viability.

2.2. Global solidarity/international development: So far, funding cuts to the international sector (UK government cuts to international development expenditure in particular) have had a bigger impact than cost-of-living.  But coupled with the cost of living crisis, in both Wales and partner countries, this means that any funding they do have isn’t going as far.  Be it the cost of fuel increasing or other project inputs going up their project plans and budgets have had to be adapted. 

2.3.  Global impact: The cost of living crisis is global – with famine threatening in East Africa and the flooding disaster in Pakistan, needs globally are high. A cost of living crisis at home is likely to impact the amount of support for these disasters, many of which are made more likely by climate change, despite those suffering the worst impacts being the least responsible.

2.4. ESDGC: (and third sector more broadly), it’s difficult for third sector to work with schools to offer the experiences necessary to support the Curriculum for Wales as school budgets are even more limited than previously for transport, supply and time.

3.      What impacts do you predict increasing costs will have on your organisation and sector? To what extent will these impacts be irreversible (e.g. venues closing, rather than a temporary restriction in activities)?

3.1.   International development/global solidarity sector: the vast majority of organisations are voluntary, so we predict that as the cost of living goes up people will spend more time either earning money, or supporting their family in other ways as opposed to delivering volunteer activity. Consequently, the sector in Wales will shrink further and that, whilst Wales is a very caring nation, there may be a shift in public perceptions around supporting international work with a desire to support local communities/people in need first.  We suspect there is also potential for the cost of living increase to cause some civil unrest in some partner countries impacting project delivery.

3.2.  Welcoming  refugees: We anticipate reductions in appetites for hosting refugees as the cost-of-living increases and people can’t afford the additional heating/lighting costs or use their spare rooms for income generation

4.      What interventions would you like to see from the Welsh and UK Governments?

4.1.  Sticking to, as a minimum, the 0.7% commitment on aid. Avoiding pillaging long term aid funding for emergency relief (as in Pakistan)

4.2. More funds for third sector to support schools and their communities should be made available with visits and experiences to cover supply and transport.

4.3. Long term investment through interest free loans and grants so organisations can improve insulation, and switch to more sustainable and affordable renewable energy sources (solar, wind and heat pumps) to enable more self-sufficiency and control when energy prices rise

4.4. Overall, there is a need for a radical rethink regarding economic priorities and growth focusing on developing a wellbeing economy that considers the needs of people and planet – despite the crisis, it’s crucial to maintain a whole-system long term approach

5.      To what extent do the impacts you describe fall differently on people with protected characteristics and people of a lower socioeconomic status?

5.1.   Taking a global perspective, the division is huge. While we will have huge numbers of people struggling in the UK, those without any protections will suffer more as indicated earlier. This is likely to coincide with an overall reduction in aid

5.2.  As mentioned previously, the global solidarity sector is almost entirely voluntary, which means unfortunately people with from lower economic status’ are already under-represented as they don’t often have the luxury of being able to volunteer. This may be exacerbated by the cost of living crisis

5.3.  In schools, online interventions may replace face to face again and pupils who struggle with this style of learning (SEND) will be disadvantaged as transport costs stretch budgets.