Bond statement in response to reports that DFID staff are being told to report directly to the Foreign Office

Simon Starling, Director of Policy, Advocacy and Research at Bond, the UK network for NGOs said:

“Reports that DFID staff are being told to report directly to the Foreign Office are alarming and suggest the outcome of the integrated security, defence and foreign policy review has been decided before it has even taken place – with zero consultation with humanitarian and development experts.

UK aid is increasingly at risk of becoming politicised, a move which will make it less effective at reducing global poverty and inequality. The British taxpayer cannot afford for aid to be misspent on vanity projects where there is little evidence that it will reach those who need our support the most.”


  1. The Times: Boris Johnson’s ‘silent coup’ puts aid funds in hands of Foreign Office
  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. Bond is the UK network for organisations working in international development. Bond unites and supports a diverse network of over 450 civil society organisations and allies to help eradicate global poverty, inequality and injustice.
  5. For further information please contact Maryam Mohsin, [email protected] or 07555 336029