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India: Politics and Government

Volume 508: debated on Tuesday 6 April 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the effect of his Department’s work in Orissa state, India, on (a) inter-communal relations and (b) the socio-economic status of all religious, caste, tribal and linguistic groups in the area. (325340)

The purpose of DFID’s aid to Orissa is to reduce poverty in the state. We have not, therefore, carried out an assessment of the impact of our programmes on inter-communal relations. However, all our programmes have a clear focus on supporting marginalised groups to gain greater access to development and economic opportunities.

DFID’s support to the Government of Orissa aims to improve health and nutritional outcomes, support improved governance and improve the incomes and livelihoods of the poor. We regularly review our programmes to track their impact on Adivasis and Dalits, compared to the general population. Evidence shows that our work is having an impact. For example, the Orissa Tribal Empowerment Programme has benefited more than 50,000 Dalit and Adivasi households: 40 per cent. of these report a 50 per cent. increase in income, and 80 per cent. show an increase in food security and livelihood assets.