Boris Johnson urged to reconsider ‘unnecessary and expensive’ DfID merger by almost 200 charities

“We believe we can have a fiscal framework that tackles poverty, health, educational challenges in the UK and extend that moral purpose to developing countries.” He added: “In the world’s poorest countries you’ve got over a billion children who are now out of school, who are at real risk ... in the same way we have to view education as a really critical part of life chances for young people in the UK, that’s equally true in the poorest countries.” Stephanie Draper, chief executive of Bond, the UK international development network, said: “This would be a disaster for the UK’s credibility as a world leader in development and aid, especially at a time when Covid-19 requires a global response, without which it remains a threat to us all.” A government spokeswoman said: “As the PM has said, the merger of Dfid and FCO will ensure that all of our national assets – including our aid budget and expertise – are used to safeguard British interests and values overseas. “This will strengthen our ability to lead the world’s efforts to recover from the coronavirus pandemic and allow us to seize the opportunities ahead as we prepare to take on the G7 presidency and host COP26 next year. “The work of UK aid to reduce poverty will remain central to the new department’s mission and we will continue to be guided by our responsibilities under the International Development Act, including a commitment to the target of spending 0.7 per cent, which is enshrined in law.