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Developing Countries: Children

Volume 475: debated on Tuesday 13 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment his Department has made of the United Nations Children’s Fund report, “Our climate, our children, our responsibility;” and if he will make a statement. (203474)

The Department for International Development (DFID) welcomes the recent UNICEF UK report “Our climate, our children, our responsibility” as a valuable contribution to the growing evidence base on the social impacts of climate change, and in particular the impacts on children. Climate change will most affect developing countries, and the poorest and most vulnerable in those societies, including children. This report further underlines the need for the international community to act urgently, both to mitigate the causes of climate change and to support developing countries to adapt to its impacts.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking towards achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in respect of the world’s poorest children. (203550)

The UK Government have committed £8.5 billion for education in developing countries over the 10 years to 2015-16. During the French President Sarkozy’s recent visit to London, the UK and France agreed to each help support eight million children in school by 2010.

The UK Government commitment also include £150 million for children affected by HIV/AIDS (2004-07), over £10 million for addressing forced labour and child labour and over £16 million to combat trafficking of women and children.

The Department for International Development (DFID) supports children and young people through direct funding to non-governmental organisations, this includes £3.1 million to Plan UK for the period 2007-11 and £20.7 million to Save the Children for the period 2005-11. DFID has committed £7 million over the period 2006-09 to the ‘Young Lives project’, which is a 15-year study of child poverty in four countries.

The UK Government’s work to enhance economic growth and to address inequality in developing countries also benefits the world’s poorest children.