Practical Action CEO Paul Smith-Lomas has responded to the announcement that the UK’s Department for International Development is to be merged with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office:
He said: “The Department for International Development has been a shining example to the rest of the world of how the people of the United Kingdom are leading the way in ending extreme poverty around the world. The projects it funds and the difference it makes to improving the lives of the world’s most marginalised people is something we should be immensely proud of.
“Working with Practical Action alone, the department has funded projects which have helped thousands of people take back control of their lives: landless farmers have adapted to climate change by growing pumpkins on barren sandbars in Bangladesh, impoverished farmers have overcome drought by using solar energy to pump water from dry river beds to irrigate crops in Zimbabwe and families in slums in Kenya have become more resilient to Coronavirus through the provision of clean water and handwashing facilities.
We therefore have serious concerns about the merger of DFID and FCO. The twin challenges of climate change and coronavirus mean that it has never been more important that aid money is focused on the people who need it most. It is therefore vital that the 0.7% of GDP spent on aid is used effectively and is visible and transparent. We sincerely hope that this represents a new chapter for the Foreign and Commonwealth and that they, like us, want a post-crisis world that works better for everyone.”
You can find out how Practical Action staff are working to bring about change that is anything but normal here.