STATEMENT ON NEW DFID ROLE
I am very, very honoured to have been given a Minister of State role at the Department for International Development, which I am very excited about. I’ll be working with the Secretary of State, Priti Patel, and colleagues Baroness Anelay and James Wharton MP to deliver the government’s vision for the developing world, looking very carefully at where and how our foreign aid budget is spent. Of course, we need to balance the administrative tasks of reducing red tape and rigorously assessing which programmes offer value for money, with working closely with our colleagues in Defence and the Foreign Office to use our aid programme as a means to create a prosperous and more stable world. In the current world climate this is going to be a huge challenge, but one I relish; and I will do my best to continue in the tradition of those who believe that meeting our responsibilities to the world’s poorest, is in the interests of our own standing and security in the world.
Recent crises show why aid is so important to us all. Whether it is helping to prevent deadly diseases like Ebola from coming to the UK from West Africa, or enabling Syrian refugees and other would-be migrants to stay in their home region, our aid tackles the root causes of global problems that affect all of us. Over the last five years UK aid has been life-saving and life-changing for millions of the poorest people around the world. It has supported 11 million children through school and helped more than 60 million people get access to clean water, better sanitation and improved hygiene conditions. DFID is also leading the global effort to save millions of girls from child marriage and Female Genital Mutilation.
It really is an enormous honour to be serving in the department and I would like to thank you all for your wonderful messages of support and encouragement.