On the merger of DFID with FCO

Yesterday’s announcement that the UK Department for International Development (DFID) is to be merged with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is a backward step in global development.  The world is quite badly broken still: billions lack drinkable water, food, personal safety, education, healthcare etc.  If we are to develop we need to do so as a human race.  One or two wrong ideas have emerged today in social media, which I want to challenge here:-

Please can people stop calling DFID unaccountable.  It’s the exact opposite of the truth.  DFID is – by some margin I think – the most transparent and effective department in the UK Government.  Please see this recent article: https://www.publishwhatyoufund.org/2018/06/foreign-office-lags-behind-international-aid-transparency/

Please can people not blame poor countries’ governments for extreme poverty.  They are less to blame than we are.  Huge western multinational companies extract wealth from the poorest and most vulnerable, channelling it to their own CEOs and our pension funds – far more-so than flows of aid in the other direction.  Rich country governments + the World Bank & IMF implement trade agreements that lock this inequality in.  And that’s why it’s taking so many decades to eradicate extreme poverty.  I recommend “Should Rich Countries Help The Poor” (2015) by David Hulme OBE

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