To ask the Minister of State, Department for International Development when he expects the Government to meet the UN target of 0.7 per cent. of gross national product in their contribution to overseas aid. 
The Government remain firmly committed to the 0.7 per cent. target. Although there is no timetable for reaching the target, the trend in the UK oda/GNI ratio has been upward since 1997, when it was 0.26 per cent. By 2006, the ratio will be 0.4 per cent., the highest since 1981. The rate of progress thereafter will depend on decisions to be taken in the next Spending Review.