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Volume 619: debated on Wednesday 11 January 2017

1. What recent assessment she has made of the effectiveness of her Department’s work in Tajikistan. (907997)

UK development assistance has helped to reduce poverty and promote stability in Tajikistan since 2002. Between 2011 and 2016, DFID’s work has improved rural lives, promoted women’s economic empowerment, and delivered an important investment climate and managed public financial reforms.

I am grateful for that information. During a recent visit to Tajikistan, I saw the good work that DFID had been doing, but many people have expressed concern about the fact that certain projects have been quite slow to be approved. Will my right hon. Friend update the House on the Department’s commitment to Tajikistan and on when those projects might be signed off?

I thank my hon. Friend, both for his question and for going to see DFID’s work in-country. The Minister of State, my hon. Friend the Member for Penrith and The Border (Rory Stewart), is overseeing new international development programmes, details of which will be published in due course.

Central Asia, including Tajikistan, represents an important strategic imperative in terms of our wider development objectives. We are, of course, committed to ensuring that commitments are implemented and that we start to deliver on those programmes later in the year.

Tajikistan is very much at risk from climate change, which could threaten all the good work that is being done to improve livelihoods and economic development. Is dealing with that an element of DFID’s programme?

As the hon. Lady will know, a variety of challenges exist in this part of central Asia. Dealing with climate change is one, but others are economic security, financial management and performance issues. DFID’s combined approach will help to deliver greater economic security in the long run.