The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) has announced a 26 per cent cut to its 2010-2011 budget along with major organizational changes that include a leaner staff structure. In addition, Cheryl Curtis, PWRDF executive director, has resigned.
Another 10 per cent will be cut from PWRDF’s budget in 2012 as a way to end deficit budgeting and replenish its monetary reserve. The developments, approved by PWRDF’s executive committee, are meant to ensure the organization’s long-term sustainability, said Curtis, whose resignation took effect the end of February.
PWRDF is the relief and development arm of the Anglican Church of Canada.
“I think Anglicans are very proud of PWRDF and expect the board to be making a careful financial decision,” said Curtis in an interview. All the decisions were made “with a great deal of intelligent consideration, care and prayer….They were not taken lightly,” she added. The budget cuts and staff restructuring, which saw the elimination of seven positions and the creation of three new ones, were announced Jan. 28. The layoffs take effect March 31.
PWRDF staff, who voted to unionize in February 2008, said they “are looking forward to moving ahead into the next 50 years.”
PWRDF now is considering a draft budget of $5.2 million, $1.1 million less than the 2009-2010 budget of $6.3 million. The budget will be finalized in early May.
Curtis cited the global economic downturn, which devalued funds given to partners and slowed down donations, as a major factor that affected PWRDF’s financial standing. PWRDF’s executive committee determined the cuts also were needed to replenish the organization’s reserve fund. Over a two-year period, $2.2 million had been withdrawn from the $3 million fund to “top up funding” for PWRDF partners after the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) outlined new program guidelines. CIDA used to co-fund 40 PWRDF partners in 20 countries; this has been reduced to six PWRDF partners in four countries. The reserve fund has made it possible for PWRDF to continue supporting countries where it already had a partnership.
Curtis said PWRDF will replenish the reserve fund over a three-year period. The organization will continue to engage in programs related to gender, the environment, HIV-AIDS, human rights and access to services.