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World Bank: Loans

International Development written question – answered on 10th January 2008.

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Photo of Lynne Featherstone Lynne Featherstone Liberal Democrat, Hornsey and Wood Green

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his policy is on (a) acceptable and (b) unacceptable conditionality for lending in relation to World Bank lending policy; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Gareth Thomas Gareth Thomas Parliamentary Under-Secretary(Department for International Development) (Trade Policy) (also Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform), Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform) (Trade and Consumer Affairs) (also Department for International Development), Party Chair, Co-operative Party

World Bank conditionality for lending must be in line with the Bank's policy. In 2004, the Bank abolished its use of prescriptive conditionality—the practice of pushing specific reforms. Following a review in 2005, it adopted the good practice principles on conditionality. These principles stress the importance of country ownership and commit the Bank to ensure that conditions are limited to those critical for the programme's success and are customised to individual country circumstances. In 2006, the Bank committed to avoiding conditions in sensitive policy areas such as privatisation, unless they are critical to the effectiveness of a programme and there is clear evidence of ownership by the developing country government. The UK has made it clear to the World Bank that we expect all lending to respect the commitments it has made in the last few years.

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