§ 22. Mr. Davidson
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on her Department's support for poverty reduction in Ghana. 
§ Clare Short
During my recent trip to Ghana, I had constructive meetings with the new Government, and representatives from civil society and business. There is a sense of optimism, but the economic situation is dire. I strongly encouraged the Government to apply for HIPC status as they are currently paying massive interest on international and domestic debt. The President has since announced that Ghana will apply for HIPC status. We are the largest bilateral donor and our programme of support may reach £58 million next year, focusing on health, education, rural transport and reform of government systems.