The Government are on track to spend 0.7 per cent. of gross national income on official development assistance by 2013. The official estimate of the final 2009 ODA:GNI ratio will be released as a UK national statistic on 1 April. We have recently announced plans to enshrine this commitment in legislation to keep our promises to the world’s poorest people and deliver on our Gleneagles commitment, going forward.
I thank my right hon. Friend for that answer, and commend the Government on their continued commitment to the target of devoting 0.7 of GNI to international development. Is my hon. Friend as impressed as me by the communities in my constituency of Linlithgow and East Falkirk? Despite being in a recession, people there are saying to me again and again that we must stand by our commitment to that target and also try and export it to other countries. While we are suffering, others in the world are suffering much more.
I am happy to congratulate the communities of Linlithgow and East Falkirk today on their enduring commitment to the task of tackling global poverty. The recession has impacted on livelihoods in both west central and east central Scotland, and across the UK, but it is affecting the lives of many millions of citizens across the developing world.
We have made it clear that new and additional financing will be available from 2013, the period when we were anticipating a conclusion to the Copenhagen negotiations. Indeed, we will limit the contribution of overseas development assistance from 2013 to up to 10 per cent. of the UK’s ODA budget. Alas, that commitment has not been matched by the Opposition. I hope that the hon. Gentleman will now campaign for such a commitment to be made.