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Latin America: Overseas Aid

Volume 458: debated on Tuesday 13 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to improve lives in Latin America. (126712)

DFID’s goal is to reduce poverty and inequality in Latin America in line with the international community’s commitment to help achieve the millennium development goals (MDGs) by 2015. DFID’s main financial contributions to Latin America are through direct contributions to the multilateral institutions: the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank, the European Commission and United Nations. DFID also has a bilateral programme for Latin America (£11 million in 2006-07). The purpose of this programme is to enhance the overall impact of the international system in the region. DFID’s assistance to Latin America from 2004-07 is set out in the document entitled “Regional Assistance Plan”, copies of which are available in the Libraries of the House.

DFID is working with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the World Bank, helping them to tackle social exclusion and to provide access to markets and international trade. Efforts are being made to provide accountable and responsive public sector management and effective political systems. DFID also works to improve donor coordination in support of government-led poverty reduction strategies and also to improve regional, analysis and lesson sharing to achieve trade policies that better reflect the impact of trade on poverty and inequality. In the health sector it focuses on improved quality and effectiveness of HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care drawing from regional organisations working with the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria.

DFID is also providing a further £7 million a year to British NGOs working in Latin America under Partnership Programme Agreements with DFID, and funding projects through the Civil Society Challenge Fund.

DFID’s programme in Latin America provides flexible and responsive funding and seeks to pilot innovative new approaches. It works with others, for example the UN and international NGOs, to facilitate cooperation between civil society organisations and the World Bank and IDB. It collaborates closely with the complementary programmes of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), and the British Council.

Through the UK Government’s Global Conflict Prevention Pool, DFID, alongside the FCO and the Ministry of Defence (MOD), supports security sector reform and small arms and light weapons reduction. The overall aim is to reduce armed violence, establish effective and appropriate rule of law in the region, and provide the security needed to enable development.