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Develpoment Aid

Volume 984: debated on Monday 12 May 1980

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asked the Lord Privy Seal to what extent the improved status of women and their socio-economic role is a component part of his Department's planning when reviewing or preparing development aid projects.

The ODA seeks to ensure that all implications for women are fully considered in new projects. Any project's effects on women is appraised before approval and monitored during implementation. Progress is monitored by ODA's social development advisers, one of whom has special responsibility for matters related to the role of women. I am sending the hon. Lady a more detailed description of ODA policies and practice in this field.

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will list the current development aid projects in which women are clearly identified as potential beneficiaries of the project; and if he will make a statement.

Women benefit from most general development aid projects and it is ODA policy to ensure that the benefits to them are recognised and maximised. Aid projects of more particular benefit to women are principally in the areas of health, particularly mother and child health and family planning, education and agriculture. I shall send the hon. Lady as soon as possible a list of the countries in which such projects operate.

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether, in view of the concern expressed in recent debates on the Brandt Commission report about the problem of world population growth in relation to development, he will give an assurance that, when all development projects are being examined and agreed, there is a financial input in the programme directly related to population activities; and whether he wil make a statement.

I fully recognise the relation between world population growth and development, but it is not possible to apply a hard and fast rule. The aid input to projects varies considerably.I have, however, directed that when projects are under consideration this should take full account of and wherever possible include a population element.