On 27th July Lord Harries of Pentregarth asked Her Majesty’s Government “how the merger of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development will enhance the United Kingdom’s ability to help (1) the poorest, and (2) the most vulnerable, communities abroad.” The Rt Revd James Langstaff, Bishop of Rochester, asked a follow up question, focusing on poverty reduction.
The Lord Bishop of Rochester: My Lords, in this context will the Minister give assurances that the Government will continue to adhere to their stated commitment to poverty reduction, observing both the letter and spirit of domestic development legislation, including not only the matter the Minister has already mentioned—the 0.7% GDP target—but matters such as independent evaluation of impact and gender equality, and that any deviation from the present pattern will be debated and agreed both here and in the other House?
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: My Lords, I do not doubt for a moment that we will continue to have various debates on the new FCDO. The right reverend Prelate mentioned gender equality. As he will know, the Prime Minister is a strong advocate. Indeed, since he was Foreign Secretary his mantra has consistently been about 12 years of quality education for all girls around the world.