Following the Conservative General Election win last week, news outlets have reported that DFID and the Foreign Office have been instructed to outline plans for a merger, suggesting this is being seriously considered by Boris Johnson in his plans for Whitehall.
The Conservative manifesto outlined that Johnson intends to keep the current aid budget at 0.7% of the UK’s GDP, so whilst aid spending would not be cut with this move, how the money is spent may change.
Martin Drewry, Director of Health Poverty Action, said: “Absorbing DFID into the Foreign Office would add insult to injury for the world’s poorest people. It will increase inequality further by using aid, and therefore the livelihoods of people around the world, as a bargaining chip for serving corporate and political interests.
“Every day the policies and practices of governments like the UK’s damage the lives of people across the world. To give just one example, the UK is the world’s biggest enabler of global tax dodging, allowing big companies to steal billions from the poorest countries every year.
“Johnson’s plans will deepen this injustice by eliminating the only department which has some responsibility to compensate for global inequality. It’s part of a strategy to take funding away from those who bear the brunt of extreme inequality and use it instead to bankroll big corporations.”