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Developing Countries: Health Services

Volume 494: debated on Wednesday 17 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the World Bank's health, nutrition and population support for poor people in developing countries from 1997 to 2008; (280245)

(2) what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the World Bank's health programmes in developing countries between 1997 and 2008.

The World Bank's role in health, nutrition and population between 1997 and 2007 was recently evaluated by the Bank's Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) whose report was published in April. The evaluation provided a self critical look at World Bank support to health and we agreed with its key findings that Bank health programmes had achieved mixed results. The Department for International Development (DFID) has not undertaken a separate assessment.

The Bank is committed to improving its performance in health, nutrition and population. The Bank's Health, Nutrition and Population Strategy published in 2007 sets a strong direction and is already helping to address several of the weaknesses identified by the IEG's evaluation.