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Developing Countries: Water

Volume 474: debated on Wednesday 26 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department has taken to reduce conflict over water in developing countries. (196894)

The Department for International Development (DFID) recognises the importance of promoting co-operation over water resources to reduce the risk of conflict. DFID provides support to programmes in Africa, the Middle East and South Asia that reduce conflict over water resources. DFID is also increasing funding to support countries to manage the effects of climate change, which will improve the management of water and reduce the risks of conflict as resources become more scarce.

In the Middle East, DFID provides support to the EXACT programme (part of the multilateral track of the Peace process), to improve regional management of groundwater pollution. In Sudan, DFID is providing £1 million for the development of an integrated water resources management plan to improve co-operation over scarce water resources and help build sustainable livelihoods. We have provided £14 million to the Nile Basin Initiative that supports co-operation among the countries that share the waters of the Nile. DFID has also recently agreed to provide initial funding to the South Asia Water Initiative to promote co-operation over water in one of the world's most volatile regions. We continue to consider other requests for support to improve the management of water to help reduce conflict at regional levels and in countries.