Commonwealth Multilateral Agencies

Oral Answers to Questions — International Development – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 4th February 2015.

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Photo of Chi Onwurah Chi Onwurah Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office) 11:30 am, 4th February 2015

What support her Department has provided to Commonwealth multilateral agencies since May 2010; and whether she plans to change the funding her Department provides to those organisations.

Photo of Desmond Swayne Desmond Swayne The Minister of State, Department for International Development

Since 2009, DFID has provided £180 million to six Commonwealth organisations. The budget is some £50 million this year and it will remain so in the next financial year.

Photo of Chi Onwurah Chi Onwurah Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office)

The diversity of the Commonwealth of nations is part of its strength. Programmes such as the Commonwealth scholarships and the Local Government Forum build on that by supporting education and the exchange of best practice among Commonwealth citizens and Governments. Does the Minister agree that at a time of rising extremism, both political and religious, in a number of Commonwealth countries, the contribution of those programmes should be celebrated and extended to build shared values and understanding?

Photo of Desmond Swayne Desmond Swayne The Minister of State, Department for International Development

I absolutely agree with the hon. Lady. Looking at the budget, the scholarship fund currently runs at £23.6 million and next year it will be £23.6 million. There is no cut whatsoever—rejoice!