HC Deb 26 May 2004 vol 421 cc1670-1W
Mr. Jim Cunningham

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what changes he has made to international aid budgets since the decision to take military action in Iraq. [175205]

Mr. Gareth Thomas

I refer the my hon. Friend to the answer given by the Secretary of State to the hon. Member for Meriden (Mrs Spelman) on 3 November 2003,Official Report, column 493W and the answer that I gave to the hon. Member for Buckingham (Mr. Bercow) on 3 December 2003, Official Report, column 50W.

Funding for the reconstruction of Iraq did not affect planned DFID expenditure for other countries during 2003–04. During 2004–05 and 2005–06, funding for the reconstruction of Iraq includes £50 million reallocated from planned programmes, together with DFID contingency funding of £115 million and contributions from other Departments. In addition, in response to the increased amounts needed for Iraq, which is classified as a middle income country, DFID has adjusted forward plans to move a further estimated £50 million from other middle income country programmes to low income country programmes. This is needed to maintain our commitment to our Public Service Agreement target of raising the share of our bilateral programme going to low income countries to 90 per cent. by 2005–06.

Details of the middle income countries affected by these changes can be found in the written statement provided to Parliament by the Secretary of State for International Development on 6 November 2003, Official Report, column 42WS. The revised allocations for 2004–05 and 2005–06 are set out in the DFID Departmental Report 2004. DFID will also continue to provide substantial assistance to middle-income countries through multilateral institutions.

These reallocations should be seen in the context of a development assistance budget that will increase by £900 million over the current Spending Review Period 2003–06.

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