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Africa: Females

Volume 494: debated on Thursday 25 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to assist women and girls in Africa whose employment and education is jeopardised by the recession. (281620)

The UK’s strategy for helping poor countries respond to the impact of the recession includes mobilising additional external resources, especially from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other international financial institutions. An extra $50 billion of concessional resources for low-income countries was committed at the London summit in April. The IMF has increased concessional funds to crisis affected countries, helping partner governments to maintain funding of social programmes.

The UK has committed £200 million to a new vulnerability fund, managed by the World Bank, which will scale up social protection. Women and other vulnerable groups are explicitly targeted in many Department for International Development programmes and we have stepped up our bilateral support for social protection. In 2007-08, DFID spent £45 million on social protection in Africa, an increase from £35 million in 2006-07.