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Street Children (Central And Southern America)

Volume 403: debated on Thursday 10 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of St ate for International Development what plans she has to increase funding to organisations supporting street children in Central and South America; and if she will make a statement. [108444]

My Department will continue to provide support to street children in Central and South America through our contribution to reducing poverty generally and through more direct support for organisations working with street children. Examples of the latter include our support for European Commission project covering E1 Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Guatemala, which aims to improve the legal environment for children in those countries, and to strengthen local law enforcement agencies to combat trafficking and commercial exploitation of children. We have also been supporting a number of projects managed by Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) including equipment for homes for street children in Guatemala, and education for street children in Ecuador.We believe that the most effective way of helping street children is by tackling the conditions of poverty, deprivation and social exclusion which leads to their situation. We are working in partnership with the international development community and with Governments to reduce poverty and provide access for all to primary health care, education and social protection services.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions her Department has had with the government of Guatemala regarding street children. [108047]

The British Ambassador to Guatemala frequently discusses issues regarding street children with the Government there. My colleagues in the Foreign Office have also raised this issue during their visits to Guatemala.