HL Deb 19 April 2000 vol 612 cc100-1WA
The Earl of Sandwich

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they see any difference between the economy, politics and culture of the United Kingdom and those of the Scandinavian countries which could account for any divergence between the volume and quality of overseas aid given by the United Kingdom and those countries; and, if so, what those differences are. [HL1951]

Baroness Amos

The Government recognise the high priority given to development issues in Scandinavian countries. This has been reflected in their levels of development assistance. We are not in a position to explain the divergence of UK and Scandinavian performances except that the values of the political leadership have been very different over large periods of time.

The Government are committed to poverty elimination and to the international development targets that mark progress towards that goal. This goal is being supported by increasing levels of UK development assistance together with a strong commitment to improve its effectiveness. The Government's approach has received a very positive assessment from the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.