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.”

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