HL Deb 28 February 1995 vol 561 c91WA
Lord Trefgarne

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What proportion of the Overseas Development Administration's aid to developing countries goes to the poorest countries.

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Chalker of Wallasey)

In 1993–94, 69 per cent. of ODA's aid to developing countries which can be attributed to individual country programmes went to the poorest countries.

The change over the figure of 80 per cent. previously given for the proportion of aid going to the poorest countries in 1992–93 is explained by the following factors:

(i) technical changes in the definition used for aid to the poorest including:

a reclassification of some emergency aid provided through multilateral agencies from multilateral to bilateral aid, reflecting the fact that the aid is made available for countries that ODA specifies and is thus bilateral in character. Since many of the recipients—e.g., in the former Yugoslavia—are not amongst the poorest countries, this has the effect of reducing bilateral aid to the poorest. This accounts for a change of over 2 percentage points;

a change in the OECD definition of income groups, lowering the threshold for low income countries from an annual income per head of $765 to $675. This accounts for a change of 2 percentage points;

(ii) some shift of aid expenditure from low income countries to lower middle income countries accounting for the remaining change of over 6 percentage points. This includes emergency aid in Bosnia and Angola, neither of which is classified by the OECD as a low income country.