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Volume 590: debated on Thursday 11 June 1998

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asked Her Majesty's Government:What progress has been made in preparing a sustainable development plan for Montserrat and what support the Department for International Development will provide for implementation.

Agreement has been reached between HMG and the Government of Montserrat on draft text which is now being made available for public consultation. A copy has been placed in the Library of the House. We hope that agreement can be reached on the final version by August. DFID will make available up to a further £75 million over the next three years to support the plan. The scale of this pledge reflects the devastation to the island and the constraints imposed on the private sector by the continuing uncertainty about the volcano. If the volcano enters a permanent state of repose many of these constraints would be lifted, enabling the people of Montserrat to take greater responsibility for their livelihoods and the private sector to take a greater role in rebuilding the island.