HC Deb 14 March 2001 vol 364 cc663-4W
30. Ms Oona King

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what work her Department is undertaking to define pro-poor growth, and if she will make a statement relating to pro-poor growth in Africa. [152238]

Clare Short

In September 2000, we published a paper, "Halving World Poverty by 2015", which proposes a framework for poverty reduction based on economic growth, equity and security; and eight priorities for the international community. This has been well received.

In sub-Saharan Africa it will not be possible to reach the International Development Targets without sustained high rates of growth—7 per cent per annum or more. In recent years, some countries have been doing well, but very many have not.

While economic growth can benefit the poor, for example by increasing the share of incomes earned by the poor, poverty reduction will depend primarily on action taken by African governments. Good policy environments are essential, so that resources can be used to maximum effect—those of government, donors and the private sector.

Pro-poor policies mean that poor people not only receive a proportionately larger share of publicly-funded services, but that they have greater opportunities to earn income, especially in rural areas. It also means that the poor are able to participate in and influence the policy-making process in their favour.

Our aim is to assist African countries in implementing poverty reduction strategies. Together with the international community, we have signed up to the PRSP approach. This enables us all to work together more effectively, with governments of developing countries taking the lead. This is challenging. It requires: strong technical capabilities and resources to undertake analysis to consider options and integrate issues such as sustainability, gender, and social exclusion. Inclusive approaches allowing consideration of all perspectives including those of the poor, the Parliament and colleagues in government. Building of broad-based alliances for poverty reduction.

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