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Volume 406: debated on Tuesday 10 June 2003

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for International Development if he will make a statement on the effectiveness of recent British policy on aid for Burma. [117118]

Reducing poverty in Burma will require major political, economic and social reform, the prospects for which are currently extremely limited. However, we should not abandon the poor people of Burma. DFID, along with other international agencies, can and does play an important role in addressing the humanitarian needs of poor people of Burma through programmes on HIV/AIDS, health, and the protection of human rights.The UK's wider policy on Burma is designed to effectively keep pressure on the Burmese regime and those who support and benefit from its misrule. The policy will be maintained until Burma is irreversibly committed to substantive, lasting political change.