HL Deb 31 October 2001 vol 627 c161WA
Lord Moynihan

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What action they are taking to ensure that the European Union's aid programme has a poverty reduction focus. [HL819]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Amos)

The Government's objectives for improving the contribution of European Community development programmes to poverty reduction were first set out in a Department for International Development strategy document published in December 1998. Many of those objectives have been achieved, including negotiation of a new agreement between the European Union and African, Caribbean and Pacific states, signed in Cotonou in June 2000, which has poverty reduction as its overarching goal; agreement—for the first time—on a clear European Community development policy with poverty reduction as its central objective; and a new structure for the implementation of European Community development programmes, including the establishment of the EuropeAid Cooperation Office on 1 January 2001.

The Government published their revised objectives for European Community development programmes in August 2001. These focus on supporting the effective implementation of the new policies, including reversing the decline in the proportion of European Community aid allocated to poor countries; promoting trade policies that help developing countries benefit from the global economy; integrating action on environment issues into European Community development policies to promote sustainable poverty reduction; and developing effective responses to crises, conflict and humanitarian disasters. The Government are working in a wide range of ways in collaboration with the Commission, the European Parliament, other member states and with civil society to support efforts to achieve these objectives.

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