International Development Committee Announcement

Committee Launches National Web Forum into UK Aid

The International Development Committee has today launched an online forum to listen to the views of the public on how the UK Government helps poor countries. The forum will allow the public to share their views on these issues as part of the Committee's current inquiry into "Aid Under Pressure" which began last month.

Chairman of the International Development Committee, Malcolm Bruce says, "We want to gauge people's views on how the UK delivers international aid. Has there been a change of opinion on how much help the UK should give to other countries since the onset of the financial crisis? How much do people know about the work that the UK does to support other countries and how could DFID keep us better informed about what it does?"

The UK Department for International Development (DFID) currently spends around £6 billion in aid every year and is planning to increase this to about £8 billion by 2011. This money supports long-term programmes used to provide basic services such as health and education and help tackle the underlying causes of poverty (development) and also responds to emergencies, both natural and man-made (humanitarian assistance).

The forum will run until 7 April 2009. Individual registration details will not be made public. The Committee is looking to encourage discussion of the following issues:

  • Has the current financial crisis changed your attitude to humanitarian assistance and development spending?
  • Should the Government change the amount it spends on humanitarian assistance and development?
  • What role should the UK Government play internationally in terms of humanitarian assistance and development?
  • Does DFID do enough to publicise its work?

The forum can be found at http://forums.parliament.uk/aid-under-pressure

As part of its effort to engage with the public on these issues the Committee will also be holding two public meetings in Leeds and Bradford next week:

Thursday 5 March 11:00 to 12:30

The Carriageworks, 3 Millennium Square, Leeds, LS2 3AD

Thursday 5 March 14:30 to 16:00

The Yorkshire Craft Centre, Bradford College, Carlton Street, Bradford BD7 1AY

FURTHER INFORMATION

Committee Membership is as follows: Malcolm Bruce MP (Chairman, Lib Dem), John Battle MP (Lab), Hugh Bayley MP (Lab), John Bercow MP (Con), Richard Burden MP (Lab), Mr Stephen Crabb MP (Con), Mr Mark Hendrick MP (Lab/Co-op), Daniel Kawczynski MP (Con), Jim Sheridan MP (Lab), Mr Marsha Singh MP (Lab), Andrew Stunell MP (Lib Dem).

Committee Contact: Ben Williams, 020 7219 0851, or [email protected]

Media Enquiries: Alex Paterson, 020 7219 1589, or [email protected]

Committee website: www.parliament.uk/indcom

Watch committees and parliamentary debates online: www.parliamentlive.tv

Publications/Reports/Reference Material: Copies of all select committee reports are available from the Parliamentary Bookshop (12 Bridge Street, Westminster, 020 7219 3890) or the Stationery Office (0845 7023474)