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Caribbean Countries

Oral Answers to Questions — International Development – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 7th July 2010.

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Photo of Julian Smith Julian Smith Conservative, Skipton and Ripon 11:30 am, 7th July 2010

If he will conduct a review of the effectiveness of his Department's programmes in Caribbean countries.

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Photo of Alan Duncan Alan Duncan The Minister of State, Department for International Development

Yes, we will. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has commissioned a review of DFID's bilateral aid programme to ensure we target UK aid where it is needed most and where it will make the most impact. The Caribbean programme will be included in that review.

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Photo of Julian Smith Julian Smith Conservative, Skipton and Ripon

Much of the Caribbean is very poor and it is currently being carved up by countries such as Taiwan, China and Venezuela. May I urge my right hon. Friend to recall the historical Commonwealth links and huge good will towards Britain in that region as he develops his policy in this area?

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Photo of Alan Duncan Alan Duncan The Minister of State, Department for International Development

We do indeed have strong historical links with the Caribbean. This Government, rather unlike our predecessors, very much value our links with the Commonwealth and fully recognise our responsibilities to the overseas territories, including those in the Caribbean. We give support especially to combat crime and insecurity as well as the effects of climate change and we stand ready to help in the event of any natural disaster.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Transport)

In relation to international development and the money that goes to the Caribbean countries, illegal trade in children from Haiti to the Dominican Republic has taken place and has been very apparent in the news in the last while. Can we use our influence to ensure that the money available through international development goes to stop that trade?

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Photo of Alan Duncan Alan Duncan The Minister of State, Department for International Development

That is exactly part of our reforms. We take these issues extremely seriously and they will be a very important part of the priorities we allocate when we spend our aid in such countries.

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