Tearfund reaction to potential DFID and FCO merger

Tearfund has joined with other leading development agencies through the Bond network to issue a statement expressing our real concern at the news of a potential merger between the Department for International Development (DFID) with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO):

“Merging DFID with the FCO risks dismantling the UK’s leadership on international development. It suggests we are turning our backs on the world’s poorest people, as well as some of the greatest global challenges of our time: extreme poverty, climate change and conflict. UK aid risks becoming a vehicle for UK foreign policy, commercial and political objectives, when it first and foremost should be invested to alleviate poverty.

"By far the best way to ensure that aid continues to deliver for those who need it the most is by retaining DFID as a separate Whitehall department, with a Secretary of State for International Development, and by pledging to keep both independent aid scrutiny bodies: the Independent Commission for Aid Impact and the International Development Select Committee.”

Nigel Harris, CEO at Tearfund comments: “We are very concerned that after 22 years as an independent and world leading development department there are plans to merge DFID with the FCO. With its dedicated focus on poverty alleviation, DFID has helped to transform the lives of millions living in extreme poverty. It is vital that future aid spending on behalf of the people of the UK continues to deliver with the same level of transparency, accountability and impact for those living in poverty as DFID has consistently done. Now is not the time for the UK to lower its standards on aid.

"Tearfund remains committed to working with the UK Government to help lift people out of economic, environmental and spiritual poverty. It is my heartfelt prayer that we will continue to see the UK Aid budget focused on fighting poverty and providing life-saving assistance to those in desperate need.”