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World Bank Spring Meetings

Volume 526: debated on Wednesday 30 March 2011

7. What objectives he has set for the outcomes for his Department’s policies of the World Bank spring meetings. (49667)

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will personally attend the spring meetings. Our objective is, on the back of our support for the recent funding round for the World Bank’s operations in poor countries, to take forward the outcome of our multilateral aid review and to ensure that the World Bank delivers more effectively in fragile and conflict-affected countries.

I thank the Minister for that reply. The president of the World Bank has said:

“If you think about almost any poverty and development issue, you will find water at the center of it.”

Last week, I, together with the Secretary of State and constituents, joined Tearfund and Water Aid’s Westminster walk for water to highlight the lack of access of hundreds of millions of people to clean water and basic sanitation. Will the Minister stand on the shoulders of those who have walked for this great cause?

It is often a great advantage for me to stand on someone’s shoulders! Much of the international effort on water and sanitation is indeed led by the World Bank which, over the past 10 years, has provided 113 million people with access to an improved water source, and 5.8 million with improved sanitation facilities. With our support and that of others, the World Bank will over the next three years provide up to 44 million people with improved access to water sources. As part of our partnership, we will press it to be even more effective in what it does.