The Prime Minister launched the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) at 3.30pm on Tuesday 19 October. The SDSR sets out specific changes and decisions on the armed forces, the Government’s approach to wider security (including development), partnerships and alliances, and structural reform and implementation following the publication of the National Security Strategy (NSS) on Monday.
The new National Security Council, on which the International Development Secretary sits, has overseen both the development of the National Security Strategy, published on Monday 18 October, and the Strategic Defence and Security Review.
Andrew Mitchell, Secretary of State for International Development said:
“DFID has made an important contribution to the Strategic Defence and Security Review. Development is key to an integrated approach that supports the world’s most vulnerable people and protects Britain from external threats. The world’s poorest people have an interest in security and development. So do we.”
DFID is committing to do more to address conflict and fragility. By using 30% of ODA to support fragile and conflict-affected states and tackle the drivers of instability we will help some of the poorest countries in the world address the root causes of their problems, build more responsible and accountable governments and strengthen security and justice overseas.
Half of children who die before their fifth birthday live in conflict-affected and fragile countries. No fragile country has yet achieved a single Millennium Development Goal (MDG). DFID programmes in conflict and fragile countries have a real impact on their lives:
- In Sierra Leone, DFID is helping the government to provide free health care for 230,000 mothers and 1 million children under 5.
- In Nigeria, DFID programmes have helped to increase girls enrolment by more than 15% across 6 northern states since 2005.
- In Yemen, we are helping to provide clean water and sanitation for 36,000 people.
Effectiveness and value for money will be at the heart of all decisions on ODA spending. The SDSR reiterates the Government’s commitment to following the OECD rules on what counts as ODA. All ODA funds come with rigorous oversight systems attached - including the commitments on transparency and the new International Aid Watchdog.
Further details of DFID’s approach to conflict and fragility were set out in the Secretary of State’s speech to the Royal College of Defence Studies on “Development in a Conflicted World” on 16 September.