Economic Policy

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th July 1986.

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Photo of Mr Ian Stewart Mr Ian Stewart The Economic Secretary to the Treasury 12:00 am, 17th July 1986

As the hon. Gentleman will know, these problems are more generally discussed through the forum of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank rather than within the Group of Five. I am happy to respond to his question about the United Kingdom's contribution. Not only do we have a substantial overseas aid budget, but we have, in the case of several African countries, converted loans into outright grants. We have also taken part in discussions through international organisations which have led to the fulfilment of one of the aspects of the Baker plan, which has not perhaps received as much attention as it might, which is that the World Bank is now concentrating more of its resources, not on project lending, but on structural adjustment loans. Since the IMF meeting last year, $2·7 billion has been provided by that means in 10 loans to eight different countries.