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Infrastructure in Developing Countries

International Development – in the House of Commons on 4th March 2020.

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Photo of Gareth Davies Gareth Davies Conservative, Grantham and Stamford

What steps her Department is taking to help improve infrastructure in developing countries.

Photo of David Evennett David Evennett Conservative, Bexleyheath and Crayford

What steps her Department is taking to help improve infrastructure in developing countries.

Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

DFID has over 150 infra- structure programmes, including providing water, roads, electricity, schools and hospitals. This Government established the International Development Infrastructure Commission to accelerate our work in this area.

Photo of Gareth Davies Gareth Davies Conservative, Grantham and Stamford

Infrastructure is critical for economic growth, creating jobs and boosting businesses, but we must also be mindful of the natural environment. What steps are the Government taking to ensure that new infrastructure development in developing countries is sustainable?

Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

DFID is directly investing in infrastructure programmes that will enhance climate resilience in developing countries. Our work is focused on creating the right enabling conditions to direct private finance into low-carbon infrastructure, expanding Africa’s financial markets and unlocking investment through innovative instruments such as green investment bonds.

Photo of David Evennett David Evennett Conservative, Bexleyheath and Crayford

I welcome my hon. Friend’s work in this important area. As we look to the UN climate summit in Glasgow later this year, can he update the House on the work with countries across Africa to help them develop their clean energy potential?

Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

I thank my right hon. Friend for his passion for Africa. We are committed to working with African countries to boost renewable energy potential and cleaner energy alternatives. For example, the Africa clean energy programme is working in over 15 countries to increase the deployment of off-grid renewable energy.

Photo of Meg Hillier Meg Hillier Chair, Public Accounts Committee

The Department invested nearly £300 million of taxpayers’ money in the airport on St Helena. Will the Minister update us on whether aircraft can now land and take off from that expensive airport?

Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

I am familiar with the situation, as the hon. Lady knows, and I am more than happy to update her in writing.

Photo of Gregory Campbell Gregory Campbell Shadow DUP Spokesperson (International Development), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)

Access to clean water is an essential prerequisite to development in sub-Saharan Africa. What steps are being taken to support small charities that excel in that much-needed activity in that land?

Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

The provision of water is essential, and the Department is particularly keen to enable small charities, particularly small British charities, in this sector. If the hon. Gentleman has any particular ideas, my colleagues and I are more than happy to receive them.