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Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what her estimate is of overseas aid expenditure per capita in developing countries in each year since 1990; and if she will make a statement. 
Clare Short: Official development assistance (ODA) per capita for all donors combined is given in the table. This shows a decline from US$14.1 in 1990 to a low of US$10.4 per capita in 1997, followed by a rise to US$11.0 per capita in 1999, the latest year for which figures are available.
|Per capita ODA|
OECD-Development Assistance Committee statistics
15 Jan 2002 : Column 137W
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether it is her policy to raise overseas aid expenditure as a share of gross national product to the United Kingdom target of 0.7 to gross national product; by what date she expects to meet this target; and if she will make a statement. 
Clare Short: The Government are committed to the target of raising official development assistance to 0.7 per cent. of Gross National Income. Between 1974 and 1979 the proportion increased from 0.40 per cent. to 0.51 per cent. From 1980 to 1996 the figure fell to 0.27 per cent. Since 1996 we have raised official development assistance as a share of Gross National Income to 0.32 per cent. and are committed to reaching 0.33 per cent. by 200304. Progress after that will be decided in the current and subsequent spending rounds.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what her estimate is of the expenditure of her Department on overseas development as a percentage of United Kingdom gross national product in each year from 199697 to 200304; and if she will make a statement. 
Clare Short: Official development assistance (ODA) is measured in calendar years. The UK ODA/GNI ratio for the calendar years from 1996 to 2000, the most recent for which data are available, is shown below.
|UK ODA/GNI ratio|
We remain fully committed to the UN 0.7 per cent. ODA/GNI target. We have set out our plans for the years to 200304 and, as these show, official development assistance as a proportion of GNI will rise to 0.33 per cent. in 200304. Initial estimates of DFID expenditure for 2001 indicate that the ratio will remain around 0.32.
GNI (Gross National Income) is the new name for GNP. The name has been changed to better reflect the information included within the figure.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what her estimate is of the expenditure of her Department on overseas development assistance in each of the poorest 20 countries in the world for each of the past five years; and if she will make a statement. 
Statistics on International Development 199697 to 200001
This increase in the amount of UK aid spent on the poorest countries is in line with the Government's policy, set out in the 1997 White Paper on International Development, to refocus our efforts on the elimination of poverty. Poorest countries are defined as having the lowest GNI/capita in the most recent year for which data are available (1999).
15 Jan 2002 : Column 138W
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what her estimate is of the outstanding debts owed to the United Kingdom Government by developing countries, broken down by each country; how the total figure has changed since 1997; and if she will make a statement. 
Clare Short: The UK has written off all its aid loans to the poorest countries. At 1 April 1997, outstanding aid loans of £389,796,841 (principal £341,629,947; interest £48,166,894) owed by developing countries were included in DFID's accounts. By 31 March 2001, this figure had been reduced significantly to £201,835,945 (principal £192,833,981; interest £9,001,964). Table 1 shows, by country, the balance of outstanding aid loans at 1 April 1997 and at 31 March 2001. Bilateral agreements have been reached with all the countries shown in italic on waiving scheduled payments as they become due.
Table 2 sets out, by country, the amount of principal Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD) debt outstanding at 31 May 1997 and at 31 December 2001. The figures show a reduction in the residual balance from £1.746 billion to £1.355 billion respectively. Included in these figures are the debts owed by the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC), as shown in ECGD's accounts. However, under the Government's 100 per cent. bilateral debt relief policy, no further payments are required from these countries once they qualify for HIPC debt relief, and any amounts received are held in trust and, once they reach their HIPC Decision Point, are returned to the countries for poverty reduction.
|Balance at 1 April 1997|
|Antigua and Barbuda||2,758,448|||
|Balance at 31 March 2001|
|Antigua and Barbuda||1,687,028|||
15 Jan 2002 : Column 140W
|Country||31 May 1997||31 December 2001|
|Central African Republic||0.615||0.371|
|Democratic Republic of Congo||97.728||90.051|
15 Jan 2002 : Column 141W
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