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Aid Programme

Volume 86: debated on Thursday 14 November 1985

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asked the Prime Minister if she will make a statement on the effectiveness of Her Majesty's Government's official aid programme.

The aid programme is effective in promoting development in the poorer countries and has the flexibility to respond to emergency situations such as the present famine situation in Africa. Aid-funded activities are carefully appraised and monitored, and are evaluated on a sample basis.The aid programme provides considerable business for British industry. Our bilateral aid is tied to procurement in Britain except where local costs are financed, and our membership of multilateral agencies provides British firms with access to substantial overseas business opportunities. In the last three years the aid and trade provision has helped win contracts worth £1 billion: the new soft loan facility announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on November 12 will increase its effectiveness.Aid also forms part of our wider relationships with friendly developing countries.