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Secretary of State to be questioned on global health and the future of DFID amid the coronavirus pandemic

24 April 2020

The International Development Committee will hear from the Secretary of State at the Department for International Development (DFID), Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, in its first virtual evidence session. During the two-panel session, the Committee will also hear from Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and DFID, James Cleverly MP.

The global Coronavirus pandemic has halted the Government's Integrated Review which had raised concerns that DFID could lose its independence. In recent months, there have been reports that in-country DFID teams are reporting to Ambassadors and the FCO, and in the recent Government re-shuffle, all junior Ministers at DFID have joint FCO responsibilities, including witness James Cleverly MP. Although work on the review has been paused, the evidence session will be an excellent opportunity to discuss the Secretary of State's views on closer integration with the FCO.

The timing of the session comes amid increasing concern for developing nations in handling the coronavirus pandemic, and how ready and equipped their healthcare systems are. The UK is playing a pivotal role in the international response, having pledged £744 million of UK aid that includes testing and developing a vaccine. The longer-term work will involve assessing DFID's plans for mitigating the developmental setbacks that coronavirus will inevitably impose.

Further issues that will be discussed with the Ministers and experts include the performance of cross-government funds, the future of the UK's aid spending, and DFID's work promoting gender equality in developing countries.

Witnesses

Tuesday 28 April 2020 (Online only)

  • Please note there is no physical access to Parliament
  • Session will be conducted with remote participation by witnesses and Committee members

at 2.30pm

  • Rt Hon James Cleverly MP, Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and Department for International Development (DFID)
  • Jöelle Jenny, Director of Joint Funds Unit, Cabinet Secretariat

at 3.20pm (approx.)

  • Rt Hon Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, Secretary of State, Department for International Development (DFID)
  • Nick Dyer, Acting Permanent Secretary, Department for International Development (DFID)

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