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Home  >  News  >  Christian Charities' Concern At Aid Department Merger


Christian Charities' Concern At Aid Department Merger



                                                                                                                        Wednesday June 16 2020

CHRISTIAN charities have expressed concern at plans to merge a critical overseas aid department into the Foreign Office.

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnston announced today that the Department for International Development (DFID) will become part of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Patrick Watt, Christian Aid’s Director of policy, public affairs and campaigns said:
“Today’s announcement is an act of political vandalism. Stripping the Department for International Development (DFID) of its independence and folding it into the Foreign and Commonwealth office threatens a double whammy to people in poverty, and to our standing in the world.
"The timing couldn’t be worse for people living in poverty, when for the first time in a generation, COVID-19 is driving a dramatic increase in extreme poverty. Far from being a symbol of ‘global Britain’, this move risks making Britain more parochial, and weakening its credibility in the rest of the world.
"Without an independent DFID the UK’s ability to help tackle poverty, and the impacts of the climate crisis and conflict, will be reduced. The government’s own independent aid watchdog shows that aid spent by DFID is more effective and transparent than aid being spent by other government departments. The UK has a moral responsibility towards the world’s poorest."

The concern was echoed by Tearfund chief executive Nigel Harris, who said: ““We are very concerned that after 23 years as an independent and world-leading development department it has been announced that DFID will merge with the FCO. This comes at a time when it is crucial that the UK does not turn its back on the world’s poorest when we are fighting a global pandemic that will hit those most vulnerable and with the least social protection and healthcare hardest.


“With its dedicated focus on poverty alleviation, DFID has helped to transform the lives of millions living in extreme poverty.  It is vital that future aid spending on behalf of the people of the UK continues to deliver with the same level of transparency, accountability and impact for those living in poverty as DFID has consistently done. Now is not the time for the UK to lower its standards on aid.


“Tearfund remains committed to working with the UK Government to help lift people out of economic, environmental and spiritual poverty. It is my heartfelt prayer that we will continue to see the UK Aid budget focused on fighting poverty and providing life-saving assistance to those in desperate need.”


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