Mon Jun 15 2020
The House of Commons International Development Committee has just released a report advising that the DfID should remain as a standalone Ministry.
Rolling the Department for International Development (DfID) into the Foreign & Commonwealth office (FCO) after Brexit was thought to be high on the Governments agenda to re-focus the UK’s international aid budget in line with UK foreign policy.
Several aid charities have spoke out about their concerns though as this could see spending slashed and priorities changed for the sake of political expediency.
However, the report from the House of Commons International Development Committee that was released this week advised that the DfID should remain it’s own, separate department “in order to preserve the integrity of the UK’s spending on international aid.”
This committee advocates strongly for the retention of the current standalone, ministry of state model for international development, with a Cabinet-level minister.
The report welcomes the Westminster government’s commitment to continue spending 0.7% of gross national income on overseas aid – but it is concerned that aid programmes administered outside of DfID are not “properly targeted towards poverty reduction or the most vulnerable people.
Aid charities have long campaigned for the DfID’s retention with Jane Salmonson, Chief Exec of Scotland’s International Development Alliance stating:
The Department for International Development has built a well-deserved reputation for the effectiveness and the transparency of the UK’s expenditure of Official Development Assistance.
DFID is clearly led by its mission to end extreme poverty but its future as an independent government department has been in doubt.
The forthcoming integrated review of all outward-facing government departments, including the FCO, MoD and DFID, may still call for DFID to be subsumed with the FCO and for its decisions to be aligned with the FCO mission to project UK global influence and promote prosperity.
The International Development Committee is respected and influential and its report is excellent, but it may not be able to prevent the loss of DFID’s independence. If we want international development to continue to be done well and in pursuit of its poverty eradication priority, then we must continue to resist the reduction of DFID into a division of the FCO.
The DfID was originally split off from the FCO back in 1997 and is currently under review as part of the Governments integrated review of all outward-facing departments.
Mon Jun 15 2020