News Outlets Examine U.K.’s Merger Of DFID With FCO, Colonial Attitudes’ Impacts on Foreign Aid, Coronavirus Pandemic Research, Response

BBC: ‘Cashpoint aid’ and Africa: Who benefits?
“Across Africa the news that a former colonial power, the U.K., is to take a more strategic, political, hard-nosed approach to the way it spends its overseas aid budget, has been greeted with a mixture of frustration and cynicism. In announcing a merger between the Foreign Office (FCO) and the Department of International Development (DfID), Prime Minister Boris Johnson argued that the U.K. should be directing more attention and money towards countering Russian influence in nearby eastern Europe, and, by implication, spending less money in distant former colonies like Zambia and Tanzania where ‘for too long British overseas aid has been treated as some giant cashpoint in the sky’…” (Harding, 6/21).

Devex: ‘Long overdue’: The development voices in favor of a DFID merger
“Amid widespread condemnation of the U.K. government’s decision to merge the Department for International Development with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, some voices from the development sector have tentatively expressed support for the move. … [A] handful of experts told Devex the move was a fair decision or provided opportunities to improve development practice, even if the announcement’s timing was questionable…” (Worley, 6/19).

Devex: Is COVID-19 magnifying colonial attitudes in global health?
“A paper called ‘The Impact of COVID-19 and Strategies for Mitigation and Suppression in Low- and Middle-Income Countries’ was recently released in the journal Science. It lists 49 authors, from 5 prestigious universities in the U.K. and United States. Missing conspicuously was local representation from the countries that the paper talked about. … Colonizing in this sense refers to the idea that western researchers and practitioners impose solutions and decisions on countries that are under-resourced without involving people from those places. As countries around the world struggle to contain the coronavirus, inequalities brought about by existing imbalanced power structures are resurfacing, resulting in growing calls to decolonize global health…” (Byatnal, 6/19).

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

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