£6m government Red Nose Day funding boost for international work announced

18th March 2022

As Red Nose Day returned to TV screens this evening on BBC One, comedian and Comic Relief co-founder Sir Lenny Henry announced that an incredible £6million of public donations will be match-funded by the UK Government to support life changing work across Africa.

This £6million donation from the UK Government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), will support people and communities across Africa as part of its long-standing partnership with Comic Relief.

The funding will support locally led organisations with a specific focus on girls’ education, providing access to mental health services, improving gender equality and tackling homelessness in communities across Ghana, Zambia and Malawi.

Lord Ahmad, Minister for South Asia, North Africa, the United Nations and the Commonwealth at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, said “Thanks to the public’s generosity, the UK Government has match funded £6million of their donations.

“Your donations will help empower locally-led organisations across sub-Saharan to bring about lasting change in their communities by helping women and girls to fulfil their potential, allowing young children to survive and thrive and giving people access to mental health services and a safe place to call home.”

Comic Relief has partnered with the UK Government since 2009 to jointly fund projects across sub-Saharan Africa, helping to improve the lives of over 9.7 million people.

The new funding will support Comic Relief and FCDO’s Shift the Power programme, which aims to support locally led organisations as they drive positive change and look to strengthen areas that they know are most important in meeting the priorities of the people and communities they benefit. Learnings from the programme will influence Comic Relief’s funding practice more broadly, as well as intentionally disrupting ways of working in the wider funder ecosystem.

Samir Patel, CEO, Comic Relief said: “It is amazing to receive such strong support for our international work from the UK Government. The generous £6 million funding will be invested in locally led organisations across Africa that focus on girls’ education, increasing mental health support and addressing gender inequality. This money will support some of the most vulnerable people in society and make a real difference to their lives.”

Money raised from this Red Nose Day will help people in the UK and around the world live free from poverty, violence and discrimination, and support people with their mental health. This includes funding organisations that are supporting people right now in Ukraine, and those attempting to cross the border.

For more information on the work Comic Relief funds, visit www.comicrelief.com/what-your-money-does (opens in new window)