Committee of Public Accounts: Press Notices

A STATEMENT FROM EDWARD LEIGH MP

CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS

National Audit Office report: Department for International Development: Tackling rural poverty in developing countries

Three quarters of the world’s poor live in rural areas, and include some of the poorest people on the planet. They are often the hardest to reach with basic services. Yet DFID, in common with many other donors, directs proportionately less assistance to this group than to others.

Moreover, DFID staff spend little time in rural areas. In some countries this amounts to an average of just one or two days a year. How can you know about the realities of rural poverty if you are sitting in office blocks for 363 days a year?

DFID needs to sharpen its analysis and understanding of the rural poor, and make sure that they get the support they deserve. Otherwise there will be no chance of halving world poverty by 2015.

Notes for Editors

Requests for further comment from Edward Leigh should be made via Luke Robinson, Select Committee Media Officer, on 020 7219 5693 or 07917 488549.