Sacha Deshmukh, Executive Director of Unicef UK, said:
“Over the last 20 years the quality of DFID’s work has made the UK one of the most respected countries in the world on international development and aid, as well as supporting the UK’s overall international leadership.
“Merging DFID with the FCO risks diminishing the UK’s international standing at a time of global crisis. In order to fulfil the Prime Minister’s ambition to defeat coronavirus and end preventable child deaths, the new department must continue to deliver the UK’s commitment to meet global humanitarian need, and especially those of the world’s most vulnerable children. The UK’s global leadership on international development, which saves lives every day and is critical to our standing around the world, should not be lost among the broader range of goals that fall under other foreign policy objectives.
“The timing of this merger means particular attention will need to be paid to the vital DFID-funded programmes around the world that are responding to the current crisis and are already facing unprecedented threat and disruption.”