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Middle-income Countries: Aid Withdrawal

Volume 619: debated on Wednesday 11 January 2017

6. What measures her Department plans to put in place to ensure that marginalised groups in middle-income countries are supported in the event of aid from her Department being withdrawn from those countries. (908002)

Programme sustainability is crucial, and all DFID programmes are designed with long-term sustainability and impact in mind. No decisions have been made to exit countries in the context of my hon. Friend’s question. When and where that happens, we want to ensure that a positive legacy is left and that the “leave no one behind” agenda is adhered to, so that some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world receive the protection and support that they ought to be able to expect.

The American Government operate the Global Equality Fund to ensure that marginalised groups are not left behind. Will my hon. Friend consider whether the UK should initiate a similar fund?

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. Marginalised groups, particularly in countries that are not the poorest, are sometimes the most vulnerable. We rightly focus our efforts and attention on the world’s poorest countries with the largest number of people in greatest need of support, but other groups elsewhere also need support. We must always be aware of that and ensure that our programmes have a sustainable impact. I will be delighted to have further discussions with my hon. Friend about his idea.

12. The Independent Commission on Aid Impact concluded in a recent report that there is“no central policy or strategy guiding the objectives of exit and transition”.Will the Minister publish a sustainable transition framework to ensure that no middle-income country is put at risk? If so, when will it be published? (908010)

The Department will always consider what we need to do to ensure sustainable and long-lasting transition, and programmes must be designed in that way. That is a common thread that runs through every programme that DFID supports and every decision that Ministers make. We will continue to work in this area and are happy to consider further proposals for what might improve the quality of the work that is done.