Department for International Development: Reorganisation

Department for International Development written question – answered on 6th July 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Goudie Baroness Goudie Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the public health implications of merging the Department for International Development with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office during the COVID-19 pandemic (1) globally and (2) for the UK.

Photo of Baroness Sugg Baroness Sugg The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

The current pandemic makes ever clearer the need for international collaboration on health and the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) will continue to work with DHSC to support the public health needs of the UK where this requires international activity, for example facilitating learning from other countries and work on health issues in multilateral forums.

The UK is the second largest Government donor on global health. This Government is committed to SDG3, ensuring healthy lives and promoting health and wellbeing for all at all ages, and supporting countries to achieve Universal Health Coverage. The pandemic is showing us the vital importance of strong and resilient health systems, with effective public health functions for both preventing and protecting people from health threats and ensuring continued access to quality essential health services, respecting rights and leaving no one behind.

The Government remains fully focused on stopping the spread of COVID-19, mitigating both the direct and indirect impacts, and saving lives. We are using UK aid to its full effect to counter the health, humanitarian, and economic risks and impact of this pandemic in the developing world. By creating the new FCDO the Government is aligning our development and diplomatic efforts to maximise our influence and expertise and ensure we are in the best position to continue to drive the international response to the pandemic – funding the development of a vaccine and supporting the global recovery.

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