§ 14. Mr. Bradshaw
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what progress has been made towards meeting the Government's target for expenditure on overseas development as a proportion of gross domestic product. 127W
§ Clare Short
DFID assistance to developing countries in the last financial year is estimated at £2.212 billion, an increase of 8.5 per cent. in real terms over the expenditure of £1.987 billion in 1998–99. This increase reflects the first year of the Comprehensive Spending Round settlement in 1998, as part of which an extra £1.6 billion was allocated for development spending. Under this, DFID' s budget will increase by £365 million in the current financial year and by a further £307 million in 2001–02.
I should also inform the House that we have today submitted to the OECD our provisional figures for official development assistance for the 1999 calendar year. We estimate that net ODA for the calendar year will be £2.03 billion. This results from the different time-frame of our financial year and the Development Assistance Committee's use of the calendar year and is largely the consequence of the timing of the deposit of promissory notes in respect of IDA and the African. Development Fund, lower than predicted spending by the EC, and the timing of bringing to book expenditure on Kosovo. This will produce an anomalous calendar year ODA/GNP ratio of 0.23 per cent. We expect that ODA in 2000 will be 0.29 per cent. of GNP, rising in 2001 to 0.30 per cent. of GNP.