Aid 'should be linked to population control', report urges

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A CALL for aid to be linked more closely with population control is to be made to Baroness Chalker, the Minister of State for Overseas Development Administration, by an all-party group of MPs, writes Colin Brown.

Some aid campaigners, such as Cafod the Catholic development agency, were upset by a report calling for such a move published yesterday by the group, which is chaired by Richard Ottaway, a Conservative MP and

Parliamentary Private Secretary to Michael Heseltine, President of the Board of Trade.

But Mr Ottaway strongly defended the group's recommendation to cut funding to groups which made no commitment to family planning.

The group also called for an increase in the proportion of the pounds 2.1bn aid budget spent on population control from 1.5 per cent - about pounds 28m - to 4 per cent or pounds 80m by the end of the decade.

The report was aimed at influencing policy in time for the UN polulation conference in Cairo this year.