Draft International Development (Official Development Assistance Target) Bill - International Development Committee Contents

Examination of Witnesses (Question Number 60)


24 FEBRUARY 2010

  Q60  John Battle: There are difficulties even on climate change. We have been to two places recently where water management and irrigation are massive issues—we have done reports on water management here and the MDGs—and yet it could easily be seen as climate change now. So not spending money on irrigation or demanding it comes out of the climate change budget could be done yet, at the same time, in development terms, it could be seen as an appropriate means of alleviating poverty. What I am slightly worried about is that if we over-legislate for the definition of poverty we will end up with the definition that the UN used for the World Food Programme, so we have got food relief only and we are back to where we were in the 1960s, that alleviating poverty means food handouts and not real development. I think that is the balance that we have got to get right in this Bill.

  Chairman: That is just adding to our complexities. Your initial suggestion was to take a Clause out of the Bill, and now we are thinking about adding a Schedule in. Unless you have any other comments, I think that has been helpful. I do not think we have any other questions. We have the Minister in front of us this afternoon and this has helped us, really, to push a few questions. We know that time is running out for this Parliament and we will be lucky to have produced a report much before the time Parliament is dissolved.

  John Battle: However, all the parties will be committing themselves to a Bill.

  Mr Evans: All parties are committed to a report, at least, on the draft Bill.

  Chairman: All parties are responsible for themselves! Thank you very much indeed.

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