British PM Johnson Announces Merger Of DFID, Foreign Commonwealth Office; Aid Groups, 3 Former PMs Denounce Move

BBC: International development and Foreign Office to merge
“The government department responsible for overseas aid is to be merged with the Foreign Office (FCO), the PM has announced. Boris Johnson told MPs abolishing the separate Department for International Development (DfID) would mean aid spending better reflected U.K. aims. He said the ‘long overdue reform’ would ensure ‘maximum value’ for taxpayers…” (8/16).

Devex: Aid groups deny they were consulted on DFID merger
“Figures from across U.K. civil society have disputed the prime minister’s claim that the government ran a consultation on the merger of the Department for International Development and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. Development professionals told Devex they would have raised serious concerns if a consultation had taken place on the merger, which will see DFID merged with FCO to become the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office in September…” (Worley, 6/16).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: World’s poor ‘will pay price’, charities say as U.K. scraps aid department
“Charities and former British prime ministers condemned the government’s decision on Tuesday to merge its diplomatic and aid departments, warning it could not come at a worse time and that ‘the world’s poorest will pay the price.’ Prime Minister Boris Johnson told parliament the new joint ministry — the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office — would ‘unite our aid with our diplomacy,’ pledging to keep a commitment to spend 0.7% of gross national income on aid. … Lawmakers as well as former prime ministers David Cameron, Gordon Brown, and Tony Blair also condemned the announcement by Johnson, who said the new ministry would launch in September…” (Batha, 6/16).

Additional coverage of the merger is available from Devex, Financial Times, The Guardian, and The Mirror.

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