HC Deb 26 April 1993 vol 223 cc722-3
36. Mr. Thurnham

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what co-operation is undertaken between the ODA and British nongovernmental organisations operating in developing countries.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mr. Mark Lennox-Boyd)

The main forms of co-operation undertaken between the ODA and British non-governmental organisations are in long-term development, disaster and refugee relief, food aid, and the volunteer programme. In 1991–92, the ODA spent over £123 million in support of these activities.

Mr. Thurnham

Will my hon. Friend join me in congratulating Oxfam and many other British charities on their excellent work overseas? Will he confirm that the Government will continue to work with those charities in supporting their emergency and long-term development work?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Yes. I recognise that the NGOs play a critical role in emergency relief and in the development process. The ODA's confidence in that role is reflected by the fact that in about two years provision has doubled from £65 million to the £123 million that I mentioned.

Dr. Kim Howells

Will the Minister ensure that money given by the Government to workers in the field gets directly to them and does not disappear into the various sinks of corruption which all too often constitute central government in some of the countries that receive the aid?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

One of the advantages of disbursement through NGOs is that they can monitor the situation. We find that that is an immensely successful way of disbursing aid effectively.

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