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UK aid must remain focused on need and fiercely protect its independence from political agenda. We're facing the world’s largest humanitarian crisis of our lifetimes; all efforts should be focused on supporting the most vulnerable people.

This week it was announced by the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, that the Department for International Development (DFID) will formally merge with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). The new department will be the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.  

This is hugely concerning for people and communities around the world affected by crises, who are in vital need of support. Today, we are facing the world’s largest humanitarian crisis of our lifetimes; all efforts should be focused on supporting the most vulnerable people. This decision jeopardises our ability to do this.

The government’s decision comes without any consultation we are aware of with the sector, and is against the clear recommendations of independent bodies like the International Development Select Committee. As an organisation, we champion evidence-based decisions – the overwhelming evidence is that this merger would be detrimental, potentially severely undermining the independence of the UK aid budget, and harming the UK’s reputation as a global leader in international development and humanitarian response.

As a long standing partner, we’ve seen the life-changing difference DFID has made around the world over the last two decades; improving access to water and sanitation; tackling gender based violence and championing women and girls rights; and rapidly responding to devastating disease outbreaks like Ebola.

UK aid must remain focused on need and fiercely protect its independence from political agenda. We stand with the international development community in agreement that the UK needs to retain an independent and globally-respected DFID, with cabinet representation and a transparent budget. Only then can we make sure that UK aid reaches those who need it, when they need it.

Letter urging a rethink of the DFID merger

We support Bond’s letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson urging a rethink of the DFID merger, which is signed by nearly 200 UK aid and development leaders and calls on the government to reverse its decision to scrap DFID.

Image information and credit: Catholic Relief Services – Photo Credit Katie Orlinsky & Caritas

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