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Volume 453: debated on Tuesday 28 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development on what projects the proposed £480 million in aid to Pakistan is planned to be spent; and what benchmarks his Department has in place to assess the funding’s effectiveness. (102598)

We will set out our priorities for the increased aid allocation in a new Country Assistance Plan (CAP) for Pakistan. During the consultations for this we will seek a wide variety of views and ensure they are fed into our CAP planning. The Government of Pakistan have made progress in fighting poverty, but very real needs remain. One in 10 children die before their fifth birthday; around 8 million children do not go to school; approximately 50 per cent. of the adult population are illiterate, two thirds of whom are women; and some 38 million people were living below the official poverty line in 2005. It is likely that one of our priorities will be to increase our assistance to the education sector.

Effectiveness will be assessed in a number of ways. The CAP will set out the expected results from our development assistance to Pakistan. We are also agreeing a set of indicators with the Government of Pakistan, to track progress towards the commitments made in the Development Partnership Arrangement. Individual programmes will continue to have indicators of outcomes that will, as at present, be monitored at least annually.