Official Development Assistance

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:46 pm on 9th July 2020.

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Photo of Ruth Cadbury Ruth Cadbury Labour, Brentford and Isleworth 2:46 pm, 9th July 2020

I am not going to give way, because many others want to speak.

The Labour Government of 1997 to 2010 created DFID, following the Pergau dam scandal. It demonstrated our Labour values in its record subsequently on international development and poverty reduction, improving sanitation for over 1.5 million and lifting 40 million children out of poverty. But in the past 10 years DFID’s role in overseas development aid has gradually been reduced. Now DFID spends only 73% of ODA, the rest being spent by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, BEIS and so on. To be fair, DFID has been a shining light and demonstration of the UK’s moral values around the world. DFID has also been rated as the most effective and transparent of Government Departments, delivering real value for money and spending only 2%, of its spend on administration. Meanwhile almost half of the FCO’s spend on ODA goes on administration.

So many key people have criticised this move, including three former Prime Ministers and all the NGOs, bar one, in the field. DFID was created by the incoming Labour Government in 1997 to create a distinct policy line. I am proud of our experience, which has provided life-changing and life-saving support.