HC Deb 26 March 2003 vol 402 cc245-6W
Ms Oona King

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development for what reasons aid to Bangladesh decreased between 2000–01 and 2001–02; and whether it will be increased to the 2000–01 level in 2003–04. [104643]

Clare Short

Total DFID expenditure in Bangladesh in 2001–02 was reported as £62 million. However an additional £10 million which was spent in that year will be included in the figures for 2002–03 due to changes in DFID's end of year accounting procedures.

Statistics on DFID's programmes are based on our internal accounting and management information systems. In accordance with government policy, DFID has moved to Resource Accounting and the figures for 2001–02 were the first to be produced from the new system. For 2001–02 onwards, all payments are counted in the year in which they are made whereas in previous years, during a limited period of time, payments relating to the previous year were attributed to the earlier year. The figures for 2001–02 are therefore "light" by the amount of these prior year payments.

It is estimated that total expenditure on development assistance in 2001–02 was understated by around £140 million. This is a global aggregate which cannot be broken down by country, but includes the £10 million mentioned above for Bangladesh. Hence some individual country expenditure may appear to have dropped in that year. It is anticipated that the figures for Bangladesh will return to their earlier level of over £70 million in 2002–03, increasing to around £80 million for the next three years.