Patrick Grady

Cross party letter urges UK government to continue support as DFID minister appoints UK aid critic

SNP MPs have signed a letter to Priti Patel, the newly appointed Secretary of State at the Department for International Development (DFID), urging her to ensure the department continues its global role and retract from her comments on DFID being ‘low priority’.

The letter that has cross party support, also follows on from Priti Patel's previous comments that called for scrapping the department she now heads and her appointment of UK aid funding critic, Robert Oxley, as her special advisor.

Patrick Grady, SNP Spokesperson for International Development and Lisa Cameron, SNP member of the International Development Select Committee have urged her to ensure the government commits to further funding for the Global Fund – a global institution that funds projects to eradicate global diseases such as AIDS, TB and malaria, at next month’s conference in Montreal.

Patrick Grady, SNP Spokesperson for International Development commented: “The Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, is an international institution that funds initiatives to end these epidemics. The programmes that it supports have saved more than 17 million lives and led to a one-third decline in deaths from the deadly diseases in countries where the fund invests in projects and where the disease is found.

“It is imperative that the UK government pledges support to the Global Fund at next month’s conference in Montreal if we are to meet our commitments towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

“Priti Patel must show commitment in her new role and her actions must show a change of heart from her previous comments calling for the department to be scrapped. DFID plays an instrumental role in tackling key issues around the world and we must continue to be led by our compassion and human decency."

Lisa Cameron SNP Member of the International Development Committee also commented on the cross party letter: “The strides that have been made in terms of treatment are remarkable.  We are playing a vital role in this work for the world’s most vulnerable and it’s imperative that we pledge to continue to support the work of the Global Fund.

“DFID is respected and known across the world through its work in developing countries. Not only in the projects it actively has a role in but also in ensuring that voices and concerns from those countries are heard around the cabinet table.

“Priti Patel and her team must show leadership on the international stage and ensure that the work DFID has done is not viewed as ‘low priority’”.

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