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Latin America (Development)

Volume 470: debated on Thursday 24 January 2008

To address better persistent poverty in Latin America, I have decided to increase DFID’s financial support to the region and change the way the support is provided. Financial support provided by DFID will increase by 15 per cent. and will be provided through civil society organisations and international institutions.

Civil society organisations are at the front line of tackling the social exclusion and inequality responsible for persistent poverty in Latin America. Channelling more support through NGOs will help address these important issues.

The World Bank and European Commission will continue to be important regional development agencies, together providing over $4 billion to Latin America. Our finance and influence in the Bank and EC will continue to be central to our support to the region.

DFID’s total funding for Latin America will increase from £84 million in 2007-08 to £97 million in 2010-11. This will include:

an increase in funding for UK NGOs working in Latin America, from £7 million to £12 million per year;

£5 million per year for new research on climate change and ecosystems in Latin America;

£1 million per year to share lessons from the Latin American development experience with other developing countries around the world;

increases in our support to Latin America through the World Bank and European Commission, from £65 million to £73 million per year in total; and

we will continue to provide about 20 per cent. of the funding for the EC’s programmes to help farmers diversify out of coca in Colombia and Peru, the two biggest coca-producing countries. The EC is also developing a coca diversification programme for Bolivia.

As Nicaragua becomes a middle-income country in 2008, we will maintain our programme at £4 million per year, switching funding for the Government to providing support through other channels, including civil society.

We will maintain our office in Brazil, with a focus on climate change and Brazil’s role in global development. At the same time, we will close our offices in Nicaragua and Bolivia, which will not be needed to deliver our new regional programme.

We will continue to strengthen and monitor the operations of the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank and EC in Latin America through our representatives in Washington and Brussels and staff in the UK.