HC Deb 17 May 1994 vol 243 cc410-1W
Mr. Battle

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is Her Majesty's Government's policy towards the recommendations of the United Nations Development Programme on the proportion of developing countries' budgets which should be devoted directly to meeting the priority human needs of their people and the proportion of which international aid for development should directly support those needs.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

We recognise the importance of addressing priority human needs, but do not consider it appropriate to prescribe proportional targets for expenditure on a global basis. The imposition of such targets on to the budgets of developing countries can restrict their capacity to prioritise expenditure to cope with their particular circumstances.

The proportion of the British aid budget allocable by sector to priority human needs is already significant. In the financial year 1992–93, about 31 per cent.—£180 million —of allocable bilateral aid went to the health, education, and water sectors.