The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)
Charities urge PM against merger proposal
Merging the Department for International Development (Dfid) with the Foreign Office is an “unnecessary and expensive distraction” that will diminish the UK’s reputation, almost 200 charities believe.
The government’s decision to scrap the department through the merger suggests the UK is turning its back on the world’s poorest people, 188 humanitarian aid and development charities, NGOs and think tanks said.
The groups, which include Save the Children UK, ActionAid UK and Tearfund, have written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson asking him to urgently reconsider.
“UK is turning its back on the world’s poorest people”
It comes as the head of Save the Children UK warned the world is on the brink of “potentially the worst reversal in progress for children that we’ve seen since 1945”.
The letter reads: “Abolishing one of the world’s most effective and respected government departments at a time when the world is in need of global leadership undermines our response to Covid-19 and suggests the UK is turning its back on the world’s poorest people.”
A government spokeswoman said: “As the PM has said, the merger of Dfid and FCO will ensure that all of our national assets – including our aid budget and expertise – are used to safeguard British interests and values overseas.
“This will strengthen our ability to lead the world’s efforts to recover from the coronavirus pandemic and allow us to seize the opportunities ahead as we prepare to take on the G7 presidency and host COP26.”