DFID-FCO Merger

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:36 am on 18th June 2020.

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Photo of Kate Osamor Kate Osamor Labour/Co-operative, Edmonton 10:36 am, 18th June 2020

As the coronavirus pandemic has laid bare, the interconnectedness of the modern world means that no one is safe until we are all safe. The UK’s commitment to international development is even more vital in the response to covid-19 at home and abroad. The sudden merging of DFID and the FCO and the absence of any parliamentary scrutiny or consultation means that we must focus on the quality of aid now spent through the Foreign Office. Can the Foreign Secretary give the House a commitment that the aid budget will not be tilted towards richer countries like Ukraine and that we will continue to spend at least 50% of aid in the least developed countries? Can he give a yes or no answer to this: will there be a retaining of a Cabinet Minister responsible for international development—not the Prime Minister—with a place on the National Security Council, so that humanitarian and development considerations are heard at the top of Government?