Telegraph piece on War on Want dismissed as 'absurd'

4 April 2016 - 12:15pm

War on Want has rejected as 'absurd' a report in the Sunday Telegraph to the effect that UK government funding for the charity's work had been 'pulled' following its support for human rights in Palestine.

As we noted in the rebuttal posted on our website after the Telegraph story was published, War on Want has not sought any UK government funding for its operations for a number of years. War on Want used to apply for DFID grants to support partners in various countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America. The grants came from a DFID funding stream called the Civil Society Challenge Fund, which was closed to new applications in 2012. The last two grants we received from the fund were for applications submitted to DFID in 2010 and approved by DFID in 2011. The funding received was for projects in Kenya and Honduras, both of which ran until late 2014. Our annual accounts, which are publicly available, show that we spent down the last of the money in the financial year 2014/15.

DFID has confirmed that there is no truth to the suggestion that any funding has been 'pulled' from War on Want. DFID press officers have also made this clear to other journalists following up the Telegraph story.

The Sunday Telegraph also claimed in the stand-first of the paper edition that War on Want had hosted speakers accused of anti-Semitism at an event held in London this February. War on Want rejects this insinuation, just as it rejects anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and all other forms of racism. Indeed, the text of the news article contained nothing to back up this claim, referencing instead a number of accusations directed towards other speakers at other events - accusations which are being challenged in their own right. War on Want will continue to oppose the Israeli state's policies of institutionalised racism and apartheid in our fight for the rights of the Palestinian people.

The Telegraph has confirmed that it received the complaint against its article submitted by War on Want on Sunday 3 April. We are following up that complaint with the Telegraph's legal team and seeking a full retraction of the article as published in the paper and online.

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