Lord Sheikh’s Written Parliamentary Questions on Sustainable Development

Question:

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps are they taking alongside international partners to promote the Sustainable Development Goals. (HL17365)

Answer:

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: The Government is firmly committed to delivering the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are embedded in the UK Aid Strategy and DFID’s Single Departmental Plan which is now modelled around the 5Ps of People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnerships.

The first Voluntary National Review (VNR) of UK progress towards the SDGs, published in June and presented to the UN in July, highlights the range of activities the Government and a wide variety of partners are undertaking to deliver the Goals at home and abroad. In preparing the Review, the Government participated in 35 engagement events, consulted over 350 organisations and received 270 case studies. The Government has also sought the views of over 6,000 members of the public on investing in the SDGs.

The UK’s support for international development is our major contribution to delivering the Goals abroad and entails close cooperation and coordination with other bilateral partners and numerous multilateral organisations. Activities include support for health and education, peace and security and climate action.

There is still more to be done. The SDG Summit at the UN General Assembly in September will be an important global moment for the UK and partners to further promote the Goals, and reaffirm their commitment to delivering them.

Question:

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what progress have they made in promoting sustainable fishing in developing countries. (HL17366) 

Answer:

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: The Department for International Development’s (DFID) portfolio of commercial agriculture programmes includes support which helps promote the development of sustainable fisheries and aquaculture in developing countries. For example, the Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund (LIFT) programme in Myanmar promotes community management of wild fisheries. Poor households have better maintained their fish stocks, and adopted new marketing practices, which has helped improve their income and food and nutrition security. The new DFID Commercial Agriculture for Smallholders and Agribusiness programme will provide technical assistance to small local businesses working in the aquaculture sector in Malawi and will work with investors to promote responsible investment in this sector. DFID is also supporting sustainable small-scale aquaculture, and our support has contributed to improving the fish-based livelihoods of 51,235 households and 72,264 people.

As part of our cross-Government commitment to protecting the global environment, DFID has provided £150 million and DEFRA £100 million funding to the Global Environment Facility 7th replenishment (2018-2022), which includes support for small island developing states in managing their marine territories. We also provide a core contribution to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), which supports countries in sustainable fisheries management. Progress is reported in the FAO’s flagship State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture.

Question:

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assistance they are providing to the developing countries which are most vulnerable to water scarcity. (HL17367) 

Answer:

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: One-third of the world’s people live under conditions of severe water scarcity at least 1 month of the year and global demand is now expected to outstrip supply by 40% in 2030, based on current trends.

Our focus has been on access to water and sanitation, and since 2015 DFID has helped more than 51 million people in Africa and Asia gain access to a drinking water supply or toilet facilities. We have recognised the need to invest more in addressing water scarcity, and we are funding a £52m Water Security programme to look at how best to integrate water resource management into development programmes, particularly in cities and agriculture. New programming being developed on water will have a focus on water scarcity.

Question:

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what measures they will put in place to aid progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. (HL17368) 

Answer:

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: The Government is committed to delivering the Goals at home and around the world. The UK’s first Voluntary National Review shows some of the actions we are taking on all 17 Goals, and the progress we are making. For example, our pioneering Modern Slavery Act is supporting our delivery of Goals 8 and 16, to tackle injustices and exploitation in the UK and internationally.

The Goals are embedded in departments’ single departmental plans – this remains the most effective mechanism for monitoring their delivery.

Following the Voluntary National Review, we are reviewing existing mechanisms that oversee Government’s contribution to domestic delivery of the Goals, building on the Single Departmental Plan process. This will strengthen accountability and cross-government work on the Goals.

Question:

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the UN report, The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World, published on 15 July, which suggests an increase in food insecurity in the developing world. (HL17369) 

Answer:

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) report shows that progress without significantly increased efforts, the world will fall far short of achieving the target of eradicating hunger by 2030. The UK is playing its part to ending hunger and undernutrition through its substantial portfolio of humanitarian support and longer-term responses to tackling chronic hunger and supporting food security by transforming agriculture. We are aware that the international community needs to do more. We are discussing opportunities for scaled-up and improved global interventions, including the German-initiated proposal for a major SDG2 event in 2020, bringing together world leaders to agree commitments to reverse the negative trend on hunger and progress SDG2 on the road to 2030, and are supporting the Government of Japan in its preparations for the 2020 Nutrition for Growth Summit.

Question:

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the current humanitarian situation in Eritrea. (HL17370) 

Answer:

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: Eritrea’s location in the Horn of Africa makes it susceptible to extreme weather events such as droughts and flooding. We are concerned by deteriorating levels of food security in the Horn of Africa as a result of poor rainfall across much of the region. Slower economic growth and the residual effects of war also perpetuate the vulnerability of Eritrea’s population.

DFID has funded life-saving activity in Eritrea for several years, including providing £3.24m to UNICEF in 2018-19 to help treat malnutrition in under-fives and provide access to safe hygiene and sanitation services. DFID has recently agreed to extend funding to UNICEF Eritrea until March 2021.

Updated: 10/01/2020 — 1:50 PM