HC Deb 08 May 2003 vol 404 cc786-7W
17. Mr. Harris

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress the UK is making towards the target of contributing 0.7 per cent. of national income to aid for the developing world. [111899]

John Healey

The Government remain fully committed to reaching the UN target for official development assistance (oda) of 0.7 per cent. of Gross National Income. In the 2002 Spending Review the Government set out their spending plans for the next three years up to 2005–06 and have made substantial increases to the aid budget. The UK's level of official development assistance reached 0.32 per cent. in 2001 and will reach 0.40 per cent. by 2005–06, up from 0.26 per cent. in 1997.

Aid effectiveness is also important as well as aid volumes. The Government are committed to redirecting their development assistance budget to the poorest countries, particularly those with effective governments pursuing high growth and pro-poor economic and social policies. By 2005–06, 90 per cent. of DfID's bilateral budget will be spent in low-income countries, where research tells us it is most effective. In addition, the Government have untied all their aid as from 1 April 2001.