Press Notice 26, Session 2006-07

WESTMINSTER HALL DEBATE

on IDC report on Conflict and Development: Peacebuilding and Post-Conflict Reconstruction

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The Committee published its Report on Conflict and Development: Peacebuilding and Post-Conflict Reconstruction on 25 October 2006 as the Sixth Report from the Committee, Session 2005-06 [HC 923-I]. The Government Response to the report was published as the First Report, Session 2006-7 [HC 172]. The report will be the subject of a parliamentary debate on Thursday 22 March at 2.30 pm in Westminster Hall.

The Committee visited Sierra Leone, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo to examine first-hand the UK Government's approach to ending conflict in Africa.

The Committee argued that new aid commitments, pledged in 2005, could be wiped out by an increase in conflict and insecurity in developing countries. The Report cites the estimate that, for a low income country, the average cost of a civil war is about US$54 billion, which compares alarmingly with the total global aid budget in 2004 of US$78.6 billion.

The Chairman of the Committee, Rt Hon Malcolm Bruce MP, said:

"Poor states tend to be weak states and so they need economic aid to reduce the risk of descending into conflict. If the Government prioritised the link between conflict and development it would do more to create a climate for poverty reduction in these countries than any amount of costly aid programmes."

Notes for Editors:

1. The debate will take place on Thursday 22 March at 2.30 pm in Westminster Hall. The debate is open to the public and will also be Webcast live www.parliamentlive.t v.

2. The Committee's Report that will be the subject of the debate was published in October 2006 and is available on-line at:
www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200506/cmselect/cmintdev/cmintdev.htm#reports The Government's response to this Report, published in December 2006, is available online at http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmintdev.htm

3. The membership of the Committee is as follows: Malcolm Bruce MP (Chairman, Lib Dem), John Barrett MP (Lib Dem), John Battle MP (Lab), John Bercow MP (Con), Hugh Bayley MP (Lab), Richard Burden MP (Lab), Quentin Davies MP (Con), James Duddridge MP (Con), Ann McKechin MP (Lab), Joan Ruddock MP (Lab), Marsha Singh (Lab).

4. For further information contact Alex Paterson, Media Officer 020 7219 1589. Detailed enquiries to Dr Anna Dickson, Committee Specialist, on 020 7219 2738 or [email protected]