§ Ms. Mowlam
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is Her Majesty's Government's policy towards the use by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank of social welfare indicators to measure the impact and viability of structural adjustment programmes on the poorest groups in developing countries: and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Chris Patten
We fully support the policy of the IMF and the World Bank to take account of the impact on the poorest groups in developing countries when helping to design structural adjustment programmes. We regard it as important in this process to use appropriate indicators of social welfare. Such indicators are, however, not always readily available in the countries in question. We therefore support the World Bank's recent initiative to help monitor living standards and improve statistical information on the condition of the poorest groups in African countries.