Plans to abolish the UK’s international aid department were revealed this week. This is a move that could spell disaster for people living in poverty. Here’s a breakdown of what’s happening, why it matters, and how you can pray about it.
What’s going on?
On Tuesday 15 June, Boris Johnson announced that the Department for International Development (DFID) will be merged with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO). The new department, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, will be set up in early September and will be led by the Foreign Secretary.
What exactly do DFID and the FCO do?
For more than 20 years, DFID has managed the UK’s aid budget, which is used to tackle global extreme poverty and provide life-saving assistance following disasters – such as earthquakes and tsunamis, and during public health crises like Ebola and coronavirus. It has a positive reputation globally for delivering value for money and impact with transparency.
The FCO plays a key role in promoting the UK’s national interests on a global level. It does this in several ways; by supporting UK citizens and businesses around the world, promoting and investing in opportunities for UK exports, and safeguarding the UK’s national security through countering terrorism and reducing conflict.
While both DFID and FCO play international roles, their goals are very different.
Is DFID not a waste of taxpayers money?
Currently UK Aid represents a very small proportion of our national income – just 7p out of every £10 the nation earns. It is possible to tackle both the need in the UK and around the world.