Overseas Aid

House of Lords written question – answered on 25 April 2013.

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Photo of Lord Ashcroft Lord Ashcroft Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government how much of the United Kingdom international aid budget has been given to the Benazir Income Support Programme since 1 January 2010; and whether that programme has been used to encourage support for President Asif Ali Zardari and his party.

Photo of Baroness Northover Baroness Northover Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip), Lords Spokesperson (Department for International Development)

Since January 2010, DfID has disbursed £36.25 million directly to the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP). The Government of Pakistan remain the main funder of BISP, contributing approximately 90% of total funds, with DfID and the World Bank providing the remaining 10%.

The UK is politically impartial in Pakistan. Our development assistance is based solely on need and effectiveness. The BISP was unanimously approved by an Act of Parliament in 2010. The UK is funding BISP because it reaches the very poorest and most vulnerable people across Pakistan, regardless of political affiliation.

BISP uses an objective poverty scorecard to identify beneficiaries. DfID and the World Bank are working closely with BISP to ensure that the targeting of beneficiaries remains objective and apolitical.

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