Responding to the merger of the Department for International Development (DfID) with the Foreign Office, Danny Sriskandarajah Oxfam GB Chief Executive, said:
“It is scarcely believable that at a time when decades of progress are under threat from Covid, the Prime Minister has decided to scrap DfID, a world leader in the fight against poverty. With half a billion people at risk of being pushed into poverty the UK should be stepping up to protect lives but is instead choosing to step back.
“This decision puts politics above the needs of the poorest people and will mean more people around the world will die unnecessarily from hunger and disease. The Foreign Office may be excellent at diplomacy, but it has a patchy record of aid delivery and is not as transparent as DfID. To be a truly ‘Global Britain’ we need to do more to live up to our values, not turn our backs on them.”
Notes to editors
In June 2019, the NAO report The effectiveness of Official Development Assistance Expenditure warned that “widening ODA expenditure to other departments has increased risks to effectiveness” and “very few departments [except DfID] make public information about their ODA expenditure, such as the amounts for which they are responsible, the programmes this budget funds, or the impacts secured for this spending.
Between 6-8 per cent of the global population – around half a billion people – could be pushed into poverty by the Coronavirus pandemic https://oxfamapps.org/media/press_release/half-a-billion-more-people-could-be-pushed-into-poverty-by-coronavirus/