Terre des hommes UK statement on DFID/ FCO Merger
Statement from Tdh UK
It is with enormous regret and some astonishment that we reflect on the Prime Minister’s announcement that DFID and the FCO will be merged, despite recommendations outlined in the recently published International Development Committee’s report into Overseas Development Assistance that DFID should retain its independence.
We understand from today’s statement that a new Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office is to be established led by the Foreign Secretary and reporting to the National Security Council. This suggests a confusion of agendas: is the purpose of this new ministry diplomacy, trade, aid or security? How will the interests of the poorest be effectively served?
This announcement comes at an unbelievable time, in the midst of a global pandemic, which is devastating the most vulnerable communities worldwide, who are unable to access free universal healthcare or job support schemes. The global economic forecast is bleak; millions without the safety net of social protection systems will be plummeted into abject poverty which will disproportionately impact the most vulnerable women and children. The United Nations World Food Programme has warned that an estimated 265 million people could face acute food insecurity by the end of 2020, up from 135 million people before the crisis.
DFID has consistently been a leader on the global stage when it comes to tackling seemingly intractable problems, as was apparent during the Ebola crisis. We need a globally co-ordinated and co-operative approach to tackling COVID19. DFID is ideally placed to spearhead such efforts. It is almost unbelievable that it should be disbanded, whilst we are mobilising as a global community to ensure that support is provided to those who need it most.
© Tdh / Grace Medina