Save the Children respond to reports of a potential merger of the Foreign Office and Department for International Development

Posted On: 
16th December 2019

Kevin Watkins, Chief Executive of Save the Children, said a merger would be a "deeply damaging move."

Kevin Watkins, Chief Executive of Save the Children, said:

If today’s reports of a potential merger of the FCO and DFID are true this is a deeply damaging move that risks endangering the impact big-hearted Britons can have around the world. DFID multiplies the impact of British kindness, whether by ensuring we get value-for-money from every pound spent or guaranteeing our brave aid workers support from a government department that cares only for their safety and success.

The removal of a department with explicitly humanitarian objectives would mean that the needs of the world’s poorest would be pitted against considerations of narrow national interest. It would increase the risk of tied aid to commercial interests and a return to the era of aid scandals such as the Pergau Dam, or militarised aid, jeopardising the humanitarian mandate of independent international non-governmental organisations. Aid workers who are far from home and in harm’s way this Christmas deserve better.