Press release

Potential impact of the FCO and DFID merger

Published on 17 July 2020

In response to the International Development Committee report on the Effectiveness of UK aid: potential impact of FCO/DFID merger findings, Professor Melissa Leach, Director, Institute for Development Studies, said:

“This report highlights the serious harm that could be caused to the UK’s global reputation and some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable, if development expertise is not retained in the FCO/DFID merger.

“We need a firm commitment to embed DFID’s skills, capacity and sustained investment in poverty reduction and research in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, and across all ODA spending departments.

“The strength of the report highlights the need for proper scrutiny of UK Aid spending to continue through a dedicated parliamentary select committee and strengthened Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI). This is vital to ensure a UK aid strategy that is transparent and achieves value for money for the UK taxpayer.

“International development must be represented at Cabinet level and a Chief Scientific Advisor for development appointed at the merged department. At least three percent of DFID’s budget should also continue to fund the research we need to tackle global challenges, such as COVID-19 and climate change.”

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