What is DFID?
‘DFID,’ or ‘Department for International Development,’ is an organization instructed by the U.K. government to create programs for poor countries so they can achieve sustainable development. Headed by a Cabinet Minister, the DFID also aims to alleviate the suffering of poor people around the world and hopefully eliminate poverty. This particular department was founded back in 1997 and holds offices in London and in Scotland. Originally part of the Ministry of Overseas Development in the 1960s, the department was later renamed to ODA, or Overseas Development Administration, by the 1970s. Back then, the ODA functioned as part of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and it was only in 1997 when the DFID was formed as a separate department.
Along with the United Nations, the DFID involves itself in various programs including the areas of humanitarian aid, education, sanitation, water supply, health, and education among other issues. The DFID also helps countries who are in need especially in times of natural calamities and disasters. Through various programs and projects, the DFID hopes to reduce poverty levels in the world. In fact, the DFID has set a deadline by 2015 in terms of halving the number of people who are extremely poor.
Aside from poverty reduction, the DFID also supports programs related to education. As part of the UN’s developmental goals for the entire world, the DFID is also tasked with ensuring that all children, especially in poor countries, will at least have access to a primary education. This may be a very difficult goal, but with the support of other organizations and other member countries of the UN, the DFID will at least be able to extend their help to more people in the future. Other goals of the DFID include promotion of women’s rights and equality, promotion of health especially among children and mothers, protection of the environment and natural resources, and combating diseases such as AIDS and malaria among others.