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South Asia

Volume 410: debated on Friday 19 September 2003

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for International Development if he will make a statement on aid programmes funded by the Department in (a) India, (b) Bangladesh and (c) Pakistan in the last five years. [131010]

DFID's country programme in India is governed by the Country Strategy Paper published in 2000. We run a nationwide programme, which covers the whole of India, and we also have state-level programmes in Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and West Bengal. Our main partners are the Indian Government; focus state governments and non-governmental organisations. The principal objectives of DFID's work in India under the current strategy are to have partnerships with selected state governments, to support economic reform, services, empowerment of poor, especially minority groups, and better management of the natural and physical environment. We are currently revising our country strategy in India.In Pakistan we support priorities agreed following reengagement with the Government in 2000. The programme has three objectives: creating economic conditions for poverty reduction; improving health outcomes; and improving education outcomes. In Pakistan too we are preparing a new Country Assistance Plan to support the Government of Pakistan's own Poverty Reduction Strategy due for publication in October 2003. DFID works in Pakistan with a wide range of partners including Government departments and non-government organisations, and closely coordinates its activities with those of other multilateral and bilateral development agencies.In Bangladesh we work in accordance with our Country Strategy published in 1998. Here too a new County Assistance Plan is about to be published which gives priority to advancing the position of women and girls. The new Country Plan supports the Government of Bangladesh's own national poverty strategy and focuses DFID activity arc und seven areas of importance: support to the private sector, land transport, maternal mortality, primary education, access to food and water and Governance. DFID works in Bangladesh Government departments and non-government organisations and closely coordinates its activities with those of other multi-lateral and development agencies.In 2002–03, DFID spent £161 million, £39 million and £77 million in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh respectively.