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Volume 539: debated on Wednesday 1 February 2012

The bilateral aid review identified as the main needs of Bangladesh: expanding access to health, education and safe water for the poorest; protecting against risks related to climate change; and supporting private sector development to help the poor lift themselves out of poverty. The UK’s development programme directly targets those needs and will lift 5 million people out of poverty by 2015.

How far does the Minister think that the wider work of his Department is helping to meet the desperate need for increased political stability in Bangladesh?

All three Department for International Development Ministers have visited Bangladesh in the past few months, and we are encouraging all political parties to work towards free, fair and credible elections to be held by early 2014. That requires the politics of vision, not the politics of venom, and the UK stands ready to continue our work with the Bangladesh Election Commission to make the elections a success and to help the democratic process.

Some 5.7 million people in Bangladesh suffer from diabetes. If this trend continues, 10% of the population will have diabetes by 2025. Which DFID programmes specifically assist the Bangladeshi Government in preventing diabetes?

Many of the multilateral programmes focus more than our poverty programmes do on this challenge, but the right hon. Gentleman does the issue a great favour by highlighting the significance of diabetes. I can assure him that we will give it the attention it deserves in all the work that we do in the country.