Former U.K. International Development Minister Cautions ‘Hasty Decision’ On DFID, FCO Merger In Opinion Piece
The Guardian: Now Britain’s navel-gazing has to end. It’s time to keep our aid pledge to the world
Alistair Burt, former minister of state for international development and former Conservative MP
“…The U.K. has a long and proud legacy of supporting and investing in the world’s most vulnerable communities. From Bolivia to Bangladesh, our investment has saved the lives of millions, and is helping them reshape and rebuild shattered communities. But while we’ve made huge progress in reducing extreme poverty worldwide, there is still a long way to go. … Aid is more than just platitudes by governments. It transforms lives. It’s because of this proven success that we can’t back away from our international commitments. … I hope the government will not make a hasty decision on merging DFID and the Foreign Office. A standalone DFID has been excellent for the U.K.’s reputation abroad, and those who work for it truly represent global Britain. As we enter this new season, my message to our new political leaders is this: use that unity between parliament and people as an anchor for rebuilding our national purpose, and demonstrate that we will not forget the world’s poor. They’re counting on us” (12/17).