HC Deb 06 March 2002 vol 381 c339W
Mrs. Spelman

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what proportion of her Department's development spending in(a) sub-Saharan Africa and (b) south-east Asia is provided to the rural sector. [39472]

Clare Short

In the last year my Department has committed £374.3 million to projects in support of sustainable rural livelihoods, of which 61 per cent. was in sub-Saharan Africa and 28 per cent. in south Asia.

In addition, contributions to livelihoods in rural areas were made through funding to global public goods research, contributions to multilateral organisations, funding for national infrastructure, and as contribution to policy in support of poverty reduction, including the role of rural economies and international trade. Much of my Department's spend in areas such as education and health is also in rural areas, which reflects the higher proportion of poor people living in rural areas.

Given the multi-sectoral, national and international nature of much of the work of my Department, it would take disproportionate time to allocate these costs against rural, regional and other spend, and therefore to present these figures as a proportion of the Department's development spending.