“The government department responsible for overseas aid is to be merged with the Foreign Office (FCO), the BBC understands. The move to combine the Department for International Development (DFID) and the FCO follows a review into UK aid spending by crossbench peer Lord Bew. Boris Johnson is expected to confirm the move, long mooted in Conservative circles, in the Commons later” (BBC.com – ‘International development and Foreign Office to merge’ 16.06.2020).
If your thinking the Little Britain is getting better on the world stage with the Tories in power. This sort of move is directly weaponizing foreign aid grants. Instead of having a separate department working on own terms to actually develop and make a difference. That is, if the ideal is to bring a change and making a difference.
This from the party that still clings on top the dreams and ideals of the greatness of the British Empire. An empire that is long gone and the powers of the United Kingdom has already dwindled. They will be even more weaken and lack soft powers internationally when they are finally left the European Union (EU).
The move is to replicate the Secretary of State in the United States. They are copying the mismanaged militarized state supported development schemes of the United States. That is not a good look. Especially, if the UK want to be serious actor on the world stage and look sincere in their motives. However this paradigm will be more of the political motivations at home and bring brownie points to the current leadership. Then actually make a change.
I don’t see any positive out of this, than they will make political moves instead of actually do what its supposed to do. We already knows there are strings to it and reasons for the development projects and aid. No money is free money, if you believe that. Then your lying to yourself and accepting money from someone. There will be something you need to do. If that is being accountable, prove the recites and that it actually was spent on intended projects. Hitting a set of goals and reach a set amount of people so the foreign donors can tell their tax-payers that it was worth giving this money away.
This is something we all know. If not … we are lying to ourselves and thinking the monies are giving away with naive intentions and can be used on ghosts without any fuzz. If it was so, then the donors would quit quickly and be hostile to continue the practice. There is a reason for certain measures and conditions for taking the aid and grants.
The DFID incorporated into the Foreign Office will only turn every move more political and the ambition of it will change. It will depend on whose in office and who is running the Foreign Office. That means the objectives will turn and will be what is benefiting foreign policy agenda. It will be more business oriented and towards the goals of the current leadership. Instead of being a supposed a long-term development tool in the world. It is not perfect, but at least have had some results and some positive use of its currency.
Now we can expect more political ambition behind the grants and the aid. It will be fitting with the additional pressure of the foreign office, instead of the concern of development or actually making a difference. Expect they will invest in a lot white elephants and waste as it fits the political agenda more than what is actually needed in the nation they are spending funds on.
That is my estimation of it. As well as they scrap a lot of projects, a lot of programs and participation as its not positive politically back-home. Even if it does something positive where these things are actually running day-to-day. Peace.