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Spending Priorities

Volume 564: debated on Wednesday 12 June 2013

In 2012-13, the Department focused its investment on poverty reduction through improving the lives of girls and women, boosting economic development and creating jobs, building open societies and institutions, combating climate change, responding to humanitarian emergencies, and building peaceful states and societies.

The Government have rightly prioritised money for some of the most deprived people around the globe, but can my right hon. Friend reassure me that the Government will also prioritise the ungoverned states in the conflict-affected areas around the world?

I can; 30% of our bilateral aid by 2014-15 will be invested in precisely those states. When the multilateral investment is added, that comes to about half the Department’s budget.

As the Secretary of State will be aware, the Nutrition for Growth event in London last weekend highlighted the importance of investing in nutrition. The Secretary of State will also know that in the countries with which DFID has a bilateral relationship, only about half have an investment in nutrition programme. Will the Department be expanding its commitment to invest in nutrition in developing countries?

We made our own commitments, alongside those of many other countries last Saturday. In total that brought in $4.1 billion of investment between now and 2020, and we will be looking to work with developing countries to develop nutrition plans where there are none, but interestingly, last Saturday we saw many countries with existing plans in which they are already investing.

In the year when we will achieve the historic 0.7% target, does the Secretary of State agree that her Department can get more bang for its development bucks by also championing development right across Government—for instance, with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, on tackling the issue of modern-day slavery in the business supply chain?

We need to make sure that all Departments are pulling in the same direction on this agenda, as I am trying to do. The hon. Gentleman is right. Modern-day slavery is a disgrace and my Department will look at what role we can play in relation to human trafficking.