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Concern's statement on the announcement of a new Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office
In light of Boris Johnson’s announcement of the new Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Danny Harvey, Executive Director of Concern Worldwide (UK), said:
"Today’s announcement that the UK will no longer have an independent Department for International Development (DfID) could have grave consequences for millions of people living in extreme poverty around the world.
Merging DfID with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) sends a worrying signal that the eradication of poverty is no longer the primary aim of UK aid. By fusing aid with the national interest, we risk leaving the most vulnerable behind and undermining some of the great progress that has been made. Established 23 years ago, DfID is widely respected and consistently outstrips the FCO in independent reviews for both transparency and aid impact. DfID has championed development initiatives on gender equality, health, nutrition, education and building resilience to climate change.
With the world still grappling with Coronavirus and its economic impact, the decision could not have come at a worse time.
As the number of people facing severe food insecurity is set to double this year due to the pandemic, this is not the time for the UK to renege on our values of compassion and common humanity. Maintaining an independent DfID is the best way to ensure UK aid goes to helping the most vulnerable communities to survive and recover from Covid-19."
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