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Aid To Developing Countries

Volume 417: debated on Wednesday 18 February 1981

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asked Her Majesty's Government:What is their response to the criticism expressed at the meeting on 5th February of the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development of the proposal to cut aid to developing countries by 16 per cent. in real terms between 1981 and 1984.

This meeting of the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD was part of a long-established programme of reviews at which individual OECD donor countries are questioned by representatives of other OECD countries about t heir overseas aid policies. The committee expressed concern about the reductions in the future levels of British overseas aid but welcomed the generous terms of our aid, especially to the poorest countries. It also noted, in addition to aid, the very considerable financial flows such as bank lending, direct investment and export credits from Britain to the developing countries. The Government naturally regret that reductions in the aid programme have been necessary but these have to be seen in the context of the overall strategy of bringing inflation under control.