HL Deb 19 December 1973 vol 348 cc444-5WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will make matching grants when voluntary bodies in Britain provide direct aid to developing countries, in view of evidence that voluntary schemes are often the most effective form of aid.


My Lords, I have no doubt that voluntary schemes are in many situations a most effective form of assistance; and in some cases, the Government have collaborated with agencies on specific projects. However, my right honourable friend the Minister for Overseas Development does not accept that he should as a rule make matching grants to voluntary bodies undertaking projects in developing countries, because he believes it is better that the agencies should retain their relative freedom and flexibility to carry out projects which, while making a useful contribution to development, may not meet official aid criteria.