16 December 2019

Charities of all sizes from across the UK have come together to call on the UK government to retain DFID as a separate Whitehall department and keep the department’s Secretary of State to deliver on Conservative party manifesto pledges on aid and development. 

Around 30% of the Official Development Assistance budget is now spent outside the Department for International Development by other departments and cross-government funds, including the FCO, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Conflict Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) which has resulted in less UK aid going to the world’s poorest people, according to recent report by The Independent Commission for Aid Impact. The National Audit Office also found that the lack of transparency in government departments outside of DFID meant uncertainty that UK aid was being used effectively. 

Over 100 charities specialising in humanitarian relief, girls education, global health, clean water and sanitation said: 

“Merging DFID with the FCO would risk dismantling the UK’s leadership on international development and humanitarian aid. It suggests we are turning our backs on the world’s poorest people, as well as some of the greatest global challenges of our time: extreme poverty, climate change and conflict. UK aid risks becoming a vehicle for UK foreign policy, commercial and political objectives, when it first and foremost should be invested to alleviate poverty. 

"By far the best way to ensure that aid continues to deliver for those who need it the most is by retaining DFID as a separate Whitehall department, with a Secretary of State for International Development, and by pledging to keep both independent aid scrutiny bodies: the Independent Commission for Aid Impact and the International Development Select Committee.”

Organisations signing on to the statement include; World Vision UK, ActionAid UK, Oxfam GB, STOPAIDS, Women for Women International UK, War on Want, Amref Health Africa UK, World Jewish Relief, Islamic Relief UK, Tearfund, VSO, The Kambia Appeal, TackleAfrica and Mothers Union. 


  1. Bond is the UK network for Bond is the UK network for organisations working in international development. Bond unites and supports a diverse network of over 400 civil society organisations from across the UK, and allies to help eradicate global poverty, inequality and injustice.
  2. The Independent Commission for Aid Impact scrutinises UK aid spending, independently of government and reports to Parliament through the House of Commons International Development Committee or their ICAI Sub-Committee. Their June report, The current state of UK aid: A synthesis of ICAI findings from 2015 to 2019 warned that “the redistribution of the aid budget between departments has led to a growing focus on large middle-income countries, driven by security, climate change or economic goals, which risks a reduced focus on poverty and ‘leaving no one behind’”.
  3. The National Audit Office (NAO) helps Parliament hold government to account for the way it spends public money. In  June 2019, the NAO report The effectiveness of Official Development Assistance expenditure warned that “widening ODA expenditure to other departments has increased risks to effectiveness” and “very few departments [except DFID] make public information about their ODA expenditure, such as the amounts for which they are responsible, the programmes this budget funds, or the impacts secured for this spending.”  
  4. For further information please contact Maryam Mohsin on 07555 336029 or [email protected] 
  5. The full list of the 127 organisations that have signed the statement above include: 

Access Agriculture    Josephine Rodgers     Executive Director
Action Against Hunger UK    Jean-Michel Grand    Executive Director
ActionAid UK    Girish Menon    Chief Executive
APT Action on Poverty    Alex Daniels     Chief Executive
ADD International    Jimmy Innes    Chief Executive
ADRA-UK    Bert Smit    CEO
Advantage Africa    Andrew Betts    Director
African Adventures Foundation    Dan Mew    Chair
Age International     Chris Roles    Managing Director
Aids Orphan UK Trust    Professor Ian Govendir    CEO
All We Can    Graeme Hodge    Chief Executive
Amigos    Phil Pugsley    CEO
Amref Health Africa UK    Camilla Knox-Peebles    Chief Executive
Anti-Slavery International    Jasmine O’Connor     CEO
Arts for Action    Melissa Eveleigh    Director
Bahá'í Agency For Social and Economic Development (BASED UK)    Mark Habibi    Executive Director
Banana Link    Jacqui Mackay    National Coordinator
Blue Ventures Conservation    Alasdair Harris     Executive Director
Bond    Stephanie Draper    Chief Executive
BRAC UK    Lewis Temple    Chief Executive
British Red Cross    Mike Adamson    CEO
Build It International    Andrew Jowett    CEO
CAFOD    Christine Allen    Director
CARE International UK    Laurie Lee    CEO
Carers Worldwide    Anil Patil    Founder and Executive Director
Catholics for AIDs Prevention and Support (CAPS)    Dr Vincent Manning     Chair
CBM UK    Kirsty Smith    CEO
Chance for Childhood    Katie Fowler    CEO
Cherie Blair Foundation for Women    Helen McEachern    Chief Executive Officer
ChildHope    Jill Healey    Executive Director
Children on the Edge    Rachel Bentley    Founder and International Director
Christian Aid    Amanda Mukwashi    Chief Executive
Commonwealth Human Ecology Council (CHEC)    Mark Robinson     Chair
Community Health and Sustainable Environment (CHASE Africa)    Henry Pomeroy    Director
Compassion UK and Ireland    Justin Dowds    Chief Executive Officer
Concern Worldwide UK     Danny Harvey    Executive Director
Conciliation Resources     Jonathan Cohen    Executive Director
Concordis    Peter Marsden    Chief Executive
Digital Opportunity Trust    Julia Misselbrook     Country Director UK
Doctors of the World UK    Lucy Jones & Ellen Waters    Co-Directors
Down Syndrome International    Andrew Boys    Executive Director
Engineers Against Poverty    Petter Matthews    Executive Director
Equality in Tourism    Tricia Barnett    Director
Equality Now     Jacqui Hunt    Director, Europe/Eurasia
Ethical Trading Initiative    Peter McAllister    Executive Director
Excellent Development     David Jordan OBE    Chairman
Fairtrade Foundation    Michael Gidney    CEO
Feed the Minds    Josephine Carlsson    CEO
FIA Foundation    Saul Billingsley     Executive Director
Five Talents     Rachel Lindley    CEO
Food for the Hungry UK    Paul Cornelius    CEO
Gender and Development Network (GADN)    Jessica Woodroffe    Director
Global Citizen    Marie Rumsby    UK Director
Global Fund for Community Foundations    Jenny Hodgson    Executive Director
Global Giving    Rachel Smith    UK Esecutive Director
Harm Reduction International     Naomi Burke-Shyne    Executive Director
Health Communication Resources UK    Jon Hargreaves     Director
Health Poverty Action    Martin Drewry    CEO
HelpAge International    Justin Derbyshire    Chief Executive Officer
Humanity & Inclusion UK    Aleema Shivji    Executive Director
ICA:UK    Jonathan Dudding    Director
INASP    John Young     Executive Director
Institute of Development Studies     Professor Melissa Leach    Director
Integrity Action     Jasmina Haynes    CEO
Interburns    Tom Potokar    Director
International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)    Andrew Norton    Director
International Health Partners    Adele Paterson    CEO
International Medical Corps UK    Ognjen Radosavljevic    Managing Director
International Rescue Committee UK    Laura Kyrke-Smith    Executive Director
International Service    Michael Dockar    Director
Islamic Relief UK    Tufail Hussain    UK Director
Leonard Cheshire    Neil Heslop    Chief Executive
Marie Stopes International    Simon Cooke    CEO
Malaria Consortium    Charles Nelson    CEO
Medical Aid Films    Catherine McCarthy    Chief Executive
Mercy Corps    Simon O'Connell    Executive Director
Minority Rights Group    Joshua Castellino     Executive Director
Mothers Union    Bev Jullien    Chief Executive
Motivation    Amanda Wilkinson    CEO
Muslim Hands UK    Irfan Khan    Director Humanitarian and International Partnerships
Omega Research Foundation    Fiona Gorton    Resources and Finance Officer
On Our Radar    Laura Jump    CEO
ONE    Romilly Greenhill    UK Director
Orbis UK    Rebecca Cronin    Chief Executive
Oxfam GB    Danny Sriskandarajah    Chief Executive
Peace Direct    Dylan Mathews    Chief Executive
PHOEBE    Mollin Delve    CEO
Plan International UK    Rose Caldwell    Executive Director
Population Matters    Robin Maynard    Director
Practical Action    Paul Smith Lomas    Chief Executive
Primary Care International    Julia Beart    Chief Executive Officer
Raleigh International     Julian Olivier     Deputy CEO
Relief International    Nancy E. Wilson    President & CEO
Restless Development     Perry Maddox    Chief Executive
RESULTS UK    Aaron Oxley    Executive Director
Saferworld    Paul Murphy    Executive Director
Salamander Trust    Dr Alice Welbourn    Founding Director
Save the Children UK    Kevin Watkins    CEO
SCI Foundation    Dr Wendy Harrison     Chief Executive
Scotland's International Development Alliance    Jane Salmonson    CEO
SENTAfrica    Martin Jamieson     Director
SKT Welfare    Asif Hussain    CEO
Sophia Forum    Sophie Strachan    Co-Chair
SOS Children's Villages UK     Alison Wallace    CEO
STOPAIDS    Mike Podmore    Director
Syria Relief     Othman Moqbel    CEO
TackleAfrica    Charlie Gamble    CEO
Tearfund    Nigel Harris    Chief Executive
Terre des hommes UK     Tricia Young     CEO
The Kambia Appeal     Shona Lockyer    Chair of Trustees
The Leprosy Mission England and Wales    Peter Waddup    National Director
The AKCGlobal Group    Alexander Knapp    CEO
THET    Ben Simms    CEO
Tools for Self Reliance    Sarah Ingleby    Chief Executive
Traidcraft Exchange    Charlotte Timson    Chief Executive
Unicef UK    Nick Roseveare    Interim CEO
Village Water    Clare Wearden    Director
Visions Consultancy Ltd.    Sophie Strachan    Director
VSO     Philip Goodwin    Chief Executive
War on Want    Asad Rehman    Executive Director
WaterAid    Tim Wainwright     Chief Executive
Women for Women International UK    Brita Fernandez Schmidt     Executive Director
World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists (WFSA)     Julian Gore-Booth    Chief Executive Officer
World Jewish Relief    Paul Anticoni    Chief Executive
World Vision UK    Tim Pilkington    Chief Executive
Y Care International    Leigh Daynes    CEO