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The UK government’s decision to merge DFID and the FCO spells disaster for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable

Statement | London, 16th June 2020, 17:00 GMT

We are deeply concerned about the implications that the government's decision to merge DFID and the FCO will have on the lives of the millions of people with disabilities that DFID is currently supporting. DFID is a world leader on the inclusion of the most vulnerable, and has taken incredible strides in particular on the inclusion of people with disabilities. The decision taken today puts at risk the enormous gains that DFID has achieved in leaving no-one behind.    

We are also concerned about the impact on people caught in the midst of conflict. “How can the UK continue to impartially support the most vulnerable people including those impacted by conflict if foreign interests such as the arms trade are tied to humanitarian ones?” says Aleema Shivji, Executive Director of Humanity & Inclusion UK. It is essential that UK aid is not instrumentalised nor integrated in any way in political, security or military agendas.  Humanitarian assistance must be based on the most urgent needs and in accordance with humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence. 

This decision means thousands fewer people with disabilities in conflicts and crises will access quality UKaid and the British tax payer will get worse value for money. DFID has one of the highest transparency ratings for how it spends UKaid. The FCO has one of the lowest. It is therefore crucial that DFID remains an independent department responsible for its own budget. Just last week Cross-Party MPs that form the Parliamentary International Development Committee said the same.  

We strongly urge the government to reconsider its decision to merge DFID with the FCO. 

Press contact

Marlene Manning, Humanity & Inclusion UK
Email : [email protected]

About Humanity & Inclusion

Co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Humanity & Inclusion (HI) is a charity working in situations of poverty and exclusion, conflict and disaster. We work tirelessly alongside disabled and vulnerable people to help meet their basic needs, improve their living conditions and promote respect for their dignity and fundamental rights.


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Marlène Manning, Media Officer
Email: [email protected]
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