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Ethiopia/Eritrea

Volume 447: debated on Monday 12 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his assessment is of the effectiveness of financial support given by his Department to Ethiopia. (75328)

The financial support given by the UK to Ethiopia is being used effectively to reduce poverty. Since 2000 we have seen real signs of progress towards the Millennium Development Goals.

There has been a significant improvement in access to education. The primary school enrolment rate has risen from 37 per cent. to 74 per cent. of school age children and the adult literacy rate has increased from 26 per cent. of the population aged 15 and above, to 38 per cent. between 2000 and 2004.

Health indicators are also improving. The percentage of children under five who are underweight fell from 47 per cent. to 38 per cent. between 2000 and 2005. The infant mortality rate fell from 95 to 77 per 1,000 live births and the under five mortality rate fell from 141 to 123 per 1,000 over the same period. Childhood immunisation rates have also improved. For example, between 1996 and 2004 the proportion of children immunised against measles increased from 39 per cent. to 59 per cent. The proportion of the population with access to safe water increased from 19 per cent. in 2000 to 36 per cent. in 2004.

The Productive Safety Nets Programme delivered cash and/or food to approximately 4.9 million targeted beneficiaries last year, and represents a major step in improving the livelihoods of the poorest people.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether his Department takes into account the amount spent by the Ethiopian Government on arms when deciding levels of aid given to Ethiopia. (75347)

Decisions on DFID's aid allocations to Ethiopia take account of the level of poverty in the country, the likely effectiveness of aid in reducing poverty, and the amount of aid which Ethiopia receives from other donors.

The Ethiopian Government have reduced the proportion of their budget spent on defence from 10.4 per cent. in 1999-2000 to 2.9 per cent. in 2005-06. The Government have maintained their defence budget in constant cash terms in spite of rising aid flows.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what UK bilateral aid to (a) Ethiopia and (b) Eritrea has been in each of the last three years; and what the planned figure is for the next three years. (74601)

UK bilateral aid to Ethiopia, excluding debt relief, was £43,308,019 in 2003-04. In 2004-05 it was £62,363,567. Final figures for 2005-06 are not yet available but are expected to be of the same order as the 2004-05 figure. In addition, DFID funding via the EC is estimated at £10.3 million and £11.3 million for 2003 and 2004 respectively, the latest years for which there are published figures. The planned figure for 2006-07 is £90 million and for 2007-08 is £130 million. I have just announced a new £94 million Protection of Basic Services grant over the next two years for financing local services such as village clinics, primary schools and water points. The World Bank is also contributing $215 million (£118 million).

UK bilateral aid to Eritrea, excluding debt relief, was £2,368,613 in 2003-04. In 2004-05 it was £1,310,157. Final figures for 2005-06 are not yet available but are expected to be about double the 2004-05 figure. In addition, DFID funding via the EC is estimated at £1.7 million and £1.1 million for 2003 and 2004 respectively, the latest years for which there are published figures. The planned figure for 2006-07 is £3.8 million and for 2007-08 it is £4.8 million.

Budget figures beyond financial year 2007-08 are not yet available.