To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the statement by the Prime Minister on 16 June about the merger of the Department for International Development and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (HC Deb, cols 666–8), what assessment they have made of the impact of this merger on their support available to people living in Africa; and what steps they are taking to ensure that any future use of Overseas Development Assistance supports the most disadvantaged groups living there.
We recognise the continuing importance of UK support across Africa to help the most vulnerable people. The UK is supporting African women and girls in giving them greater control to plan their lives, fulfil their potential and play a vital role in their countries’ futures, as well as addressing the issues caused by Africa being identified as the continent scheduled to be worst affected by the devastating impacts of climate change. Strengthening our partnership with African nations is a key element of our Global Britain vision, building on the progress made at the UK-Africa Investment Summit.
The merger fuses the best of our development expertise and world-leading diplomacy together. All the things that have made the UK a world leader in development will not change. The work of UK aid to reduce poverty will remain central to the new department’s mission.
Organisational plans for the new department are currently being shaped. The full details of the merger, including the structure of the new department, will be set out in due course.