Organisations unite in DFID call

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International development bodies have set out criteria they say are necessary for a new UK body to ensure aid and diplomacy standards are maintained 

1st July 2020 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Scottish aid organisations have called for the newly merged DFID and Foreign Office to make four key pledges to the world’s poorest.

International development bodies have set out strict criteria they say are necessary in order for the UK Government’s new Foreign and Development Office to build on the UK’s world leading reputation in aid and diplomacy.

The call comes following the widely opposed merger of the Department for International Development (DFID) with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). The organisations have said what is most important now is ensuring the UK maintains its global leadership role in tackling global issues.

Scotland’s International development Alliance (the Alliance) has put forward four commitments needed from the UK Government to maintain effective, principled progress on sustainable development across the world.

The four commitments are: a commitment to poverty eradication and aid effectiveness, commitment to accountability, transparency and scrutiny; commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change; and commitment to safeguarding DFID’s expertise.

The call is backed by a wide range of Scottish-based organisations, including: Halo Trust, IDEAS, IIED, Oxfam Scotland, SCIAF, Tearfund Scotland, Carey Tourism, The Scotland Malawi Partnership, WaterAid, Water Witness International and Thrive.

Jane Salmonson, chief executive of the Alliance, said: “The merging of DFID and the FCO has caused many to raise concerns that the UK’s national interest could skew the development policy agenda.

“The Alliance and many of its members have worked closely with the hugely experienced and talented team of specialists at DFID. We are hopeful that working with the specialists and diplomats at the FCO will add to the skills and qualities needed to resource the UK’s renewed commitment to the world’s most vulnerable.

“This is why we have developed this briefing outlining the four major commitments we expect from the UK government to build on its world-leading contribution to international development.

“We look forward to working closely with government, with our network of development organisations and with all organisations working in this crucial field, as we move into this new era of collaboration.”