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Wednesday 17 June 2020

DFID staff need clarity on FCO merger plans

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FDA National Officer Allan Sampson has raised concerns over Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement that the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) are to merge, warning that the news “has created huge uncertainty and unease for DFID staff”.

While speculation about the merger has existed for several months, Sampson criticised the fact many staff found out about the merger through media reports instead of from their employer.

Sampson has defended DFID as a department “with a strong reputation for success” whose staff are “working tirelessly to lead the UK’s global efforts to respond to COVID-19 and protect the poorest and most vulnerable people around the world”.

He explained: “A recent International Development Committee report commended DFID’s standing as a global development agency and the excellence of the department's programming and transparency, and urged against a disruptive and costly machinery of government reorganisation that would impact the effectiveness of aid.

“DFID has also operated successfully over two sites and employs a significant number of staff outside of London. Those staff, and many others, will now understandably be concerned for their future and disappointed to hear about this through leaks to the media.”

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