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Foreign Aid

Volume 405: debated on Wednesday 21 May 2003

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To ask the Minister of State for International Development what increased contributions have been made to the Integral Framework for Trade-Related Technical Assistance; whether the framework has been extended to all developing countries; what additional capacity-building support to developing countries for trade has been introduced since June 2002; and if he will make a statement. [113623]

The UK has contributed £1.5 million to the Integrated Framework Programme (IF) so far. The programme has been extended from the initial five least developed countries to include three pilot countries under the revised programme and a second wave of 11 least developed countries. There are sufficient funds available to complete the IF process in these countries. Further expansion will be considered following the evaluation of the programme this summer. The UK has committed £51 million to trade related capacity building since June 2000.The Integrated Framework aims to support least developed countries mainstream trade priorities into their development programmes, usually framed in the country's poverty reduction strategy. The process includes a Diagnostic Trade Integration Study (DTIS) which recommends policy measures and a matrix of technical assistance and capacity building support needs. The process is country led and the DTIS team comprises both international and local experts. The priorities will be funded through the existing mechanisms for support from bilateral and multilateral partners. In response to the call from participating countries and the World bank, a further trust fund is envisaged to support modest, priority, quick win projects to bridge the period between the DTIS and access to development assistance through the established consultative groups, roundtables and programme support. Its terms of reference were agreed on 16 May 2003. The UK plans to contribute shortly.