On behalf of my colleagues at PATH, I am concerned by the Prime Minister’s announcement that the UK Department for International Development (DFID) will be merged with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. In our many years of partnership, PATH has witnessed first-hand the tremendous impact of DFID’s engagement in advancing health in many of the poorest and hardest-to-reach communities in the world. We encourage the new office to retain DFID’s high standards for aid as well as its strong focus on ending extreme poverty.
Through our partnerships with DFID, we have applied innovation to some of the world’s most pressing health threats to bring sustainable solutions to communities most in need. The UK is the world’s second largest public funder of research and development for global health and DFID’s leadership and unique expertise in the development and delivery of drugs, vaccines, diagnostics and devices for global health, is needed now more than ever.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take hold of our world it is important that the new Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office ensures that the UK’s aid continues to be driven by a commitment to ending extreme poverty rather than foreign policy or trade considerations. Especially in these challenging times, PATH remains dedicated to our mission of advancing health equity for all and we stand alongside our partners, including the UK, to ensure lives are saved, disease burden lessened, and that aid reaches the most vulnerable.