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Foreign Aid

Volume 405: debated on Monday 19 May 2003

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To ask the Minister of State for International Development what progress has been made with(a) developing and (b) applying performance indicators to measure the effectiveness of (i) donor inputs to poverty reduction strategy papers and (ii) the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. [113618]

The information is as follows:(i) The Rome Declaration on Harmonisation in February this year committed donors to track, and as necessary refine, lead indicators of progress on harmonisation. At the country level, a growing number of donors are in the early stages of developing indicators and processes to monitor the impact of their engagement on poverty reduction in partner countries. Where possible these are built upon the partner countries' own systems to monitor progress against the Poverty Reduction Strategy Plan targets. DFID is developing such indicators as part of their new Country Assistance Plans.The Strategic Partnership with Africa (SPA) recently adopted a programme of action to monitor progress made by donors in aligning their support with national poverty reduction strategies (PRSs), and to track the quality and volume of aid flows to Africa. Two working groups have been created to address alignment issues relating to sector programmes and budget support. The working groups are developing a framework for monitoring progress in donor behaviour. The monitoring framework will be implemented in cooperation with the OECD/DAC and the UNECA.(ii) The UN Secretary-General has overall responsibility for monitoring and reporting global progress against the Millennium Development Goals. DFID was influential this year in finalising a working set of 48 indicators against which progress towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals will be measured. These indicators (available in Annex 4 of DFID's 2003 Departmental Report) provide a baseline for the UN Secretary-General's report on progress towards the Goals.DFID has supported the establishment by the UNDP of a comprehensive Millennium Development Goals Support Programme. It will develop strategies to meet each Goal, help each developing country to monitor progress and feed results into the UN Secretary-General's annual report on progress against the Goals, and link up national and global level campaigning in support of them.

To ask the Minister of State for International Development what progress each G7 country has made on (a) untying aid and (b) removing nationality restrictions on technical co-operation direct budgetary support since the Kananaskis summit. [113620]

All G7 countries have untied their aid to least-developed countries in line with the Recommendation of the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD. Only the UK has removed all nationality restrictions on its aid and we are working in the DAC and elsewhere to encourage other donors to do the same in the interests of greater aid effectiveness.

To ask the Minister of State for International Development what progress the EU has made since the G8 Kananaskis summit in increasing the percentage of EU aid which is (a) spent in Africa, (b) spent in low income countries and (c) spent on poverty reduction. [113622]

For 2003 the EC planned to spend approximately 21 per cent, of its budget in Africa. This figure is expected to rise to over 33 per cent, of total European aid payments by 2006.Figures giving the percentage of EC aid going to Low Income Countries for 2002 will be available in June.Poverty reduction is a key Millennium development goal to which the EC is signed up. However it is not possible to say exactly what the impact of EC aid expenditure will be on poverty.

To ask the Minister of State for International Development how each (a) EU member state and (b) the European Commission will report progress towards the Monterrey commitment that member states should spend an average of 0.39 per cent, of their gross national product on aid by 2006. [113629]

All Member States report their ODA/GNI ratios annually to the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD. In addition, the European Commission has recently reviewed progress towards the commitment that by 2006, an EU average of gross national income provided as official development assistance will reach 0.39 per cent. A report including this review wil be discussed at the EU General Affairs and External Relations Council in Brussels on 20 May.