HC Deb 12 June 2003 vol 406 c982W
18. David Cairns

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress the UK is making on the target ratio of aid to national income. [118677]

John Healey

The Government remain fully committed to reaching the UN target of an official development assistance to Gross National Income ratio (ODA/GNI ratio) of 0.7 per cent. In the 2002 Spending Review the Government made substantial increases to the aid budget. The UK's level of official development assistance will be increased to 0.33 per cent. by 2003–04, up from 0.26 per cent. in 1997, and will reach 0.40 per cent. of GNI by 2005–06. This is the largest ever increase in UK aid and represents a 93 per cent. real terms increase since 1997.

Aid effectiveness is also important as well as aid volumes. We are committed to redirecting the development assistance budget to the poorest countries, particularly those with effective governments pursuing high growth and pro-poor economic and social policies. In addition, the Government have untied all their aid as from 1 April 2001.