Mr. Speaker, in the throne speech we addressed very clearly as a priority the need to tackle the issue of poverty and deprivation of children around the world.
I can report to the House that in terms of our own international assistance package, 21 per cent of the budget goes directly to human needs. This compares to the 7 per cent of most other countries. We are substantially ahead of most countries in this area.
We are providing a number of important projects in Africa. We are providing education for girls and we have a number of water projects in 15 African countries. Perhaps most important, in the field of health, we have been a major contributor to the almost total reduction of iron and iodine deficiencies in children around the world and to the prevention of the diseases.
My colleague, the Minister for International Co-operation, is now working effectively to take the percentage of the budget up to 25 per cent which will be directed to basic human needs.