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Overseas Aid

Volume 479: debated on Thursday 17 July 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what models his Department uses to project the effects of (a) food shortages, (b) fuel price increases, (c) climate change and (d) water distribution issues in developing countries; and what contribution such modelling makes to the process of policy formulation in his Department. (218506)

The Department for International Development (DFID) relies on estimates made by credible and expert international development organisations and research institutions. In particular:

(a) On food shortages, the World Food Programme, International Food Policy Research Institute and the Food and Agriculture Organisation’s Integrated Phase Classification (a predictive food security tool).

(b) On fuel prices the Energy Information Administration (EIA) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Their models consider supply and demand expectations as well as other relevant factors such as geopolitics, policies of national governments and technical and geological factors. We also make use of robust models employed by the World Bank and the IMF to understand the impact of the fuel price increases on developing countries.

(c) On climate change, the Hadley Centre’s Providing Regional Climates for Impacts Studies (PRECIS), the Global Carbon Finance Model (GLOCAF), an economic model developed by the UK Office of Climate Change (OCC), and the impact assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

(d) On water we use the UN’s data for monitoring progress towards the MDGs, including financial models which estimate the cost of achieving the MDGs. For water resources we use the United Nations World Water Development Report, which uses a number of hydrological and water resources models to assess supply and demand.

DFID development policies and assistance are formulated mainly at country level. Information from models feeds directly into our development policies, for example we use climate models to propose actions to reduce climate related risks to partner countries and DFID programmes, to estimate the costs to developing countries of moving to a low carbon global economy and inform the UK position at the climate negotiations.