in Defence / Security

UK Government CSSF investment boosts global security

Posted 19 January 2024

The UK benefited from £830 million in the 2022-23 financial year delivering programmes and peacekeeping in more than 90 countries to bolster global security, with the delivery of projects in Ukraine, Africa, the Indo-Pacific and the Overseas Territories among other places, resulting from Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) investment.

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Last year it more than doubled spending on cyber security programmes, with £25.5 million spent on the Global Cyber Programme, the Africa Joint Operations Against Cyber Crime and bolstering the cyber defences of Georgia, Iraq and elsewhere.

The Cabinet Office-led CSSF tackles the greatest threats to UK national security emanating from overseas, especially conflict, transnational threats and hostile state activity. The 2022 to 2023 CSSF Annual Report reveals how and where it spent money to tackle these global security challenges, such as assistance to Ukraine following the illegal invasion by Russia and countering Russian disinformation on the invasion.

The CSSF also plays a key role in strengthening UK and international partners’ cyber security by strengthening their cyber defences and supporting their fight against cyber-crime. For example the CSSF has also funded programmes in the Indo-Pacific region, delivering cyber exercises in Malaysia, Indonesia and Japan to help test their response to a major national cyber attack.

Through the CSSF, the UK established a Ukraine Cyber Programme, providing £7.3 million from the beginning of the invasion to March 2022. Following the IRR, funding for this programme will be increased by up to £25 million, including £16 million from UK funding, and potential for a further £9 million contribution from international allies.

Ukraine was the biggest single-state recipient of CSSF-funded Official Development Assistance, receiving £41 million, an increase from £23.5 million in the 2021 to 2022 financial year.

Cabinet Office Minister for the CSSF Baroness Neville-Rolfe said: "From the Balkans to Latin America, the Indo-Pacific and beyond, the UK’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund plays a vital role in keeping people safe both at home and abroad.

"Improving the cyber security of our international partners is vital to the preservation of the rules-based international system and so detecting, disrupting and deterring cyber threats across the globe has been central to the CSSF’s work."

Other significant areas of spending included projects in Eastern Europe and Central Asia which accounted for around 14% of CSSF funding (£119.28 million) and projects in Sub-Saharan Africa which accounted for almost 12% of CSSF funding (£98.57 million). In Sub-Saharan Africa the CSSF’s investment has tackled the threat of violent extremists by working with counter terror organisations.

The CSSF also manages the UK government’s funding of peacekeeping operations and deployments and manages the Rapid Response Mechanism with peacekeeping efforts accounting for more than a third (36%) of its spending (£301.8 million).

In March 2023, as part of the Integrated Review Refresh, the Prime Minister announced the CSSF would transform into a new fund: the Integrated Security Fund (ISF) from April 2024. The CSSF’s transition into the ISF will link up the UK's domestic and overseas security to strengthen its ability to export expertise to international partners, helping tackle global challenges such as smuggling, illicit finances and large-scale migration.

The Cabinet Office-led CSSF brings together several government departments, including the FCDO, Home Office and Ministry of Defence. The FCDO was the single biggest spender of CSSF funding the 2022 to 2023 financial year; it accounted for 81.7% of total spend (£678.27 million).




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