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Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what proportion of her Department's development spending in (a) sub-Saharan Africa and (b) south-east Asia is provided to the rural sector. 
Clare Short: In the last year my Department has committed £374.3 million to projects in support of sustainable rural livelihoods, of which 61 per cent. was in sub-Saharan Africa and 28 per cent. in south Asia.
In addition, contributions to livelihoods in rural areas were made through funding to global public goods research, contributions to multilateral organisations, funding for national infrastructure, and as contribution to policy in support of poverty reduction, including the role of rural economies and international trade. Much of my Department's spend in areas such as education and health is also in rural areas, which reflects the higher proportion of poor people living in rural areas.
Given the multi-sectoral, national and international nature of much of the work of my Department, it would take disproportionate time to allocate these costs against rural, regional and other spend, and therefore to present these figures as a proportion of the Department's development spending.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what funds have been allocated to the Africa Private Infrastructure Financing Facility; and when it became operational. 
Clare Short: The fund, which is now known as the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), comprises both equity and loan finance. Equity is being contributed by a group of bilateral donors including Holland, Sweden and Switzerland, in addition to the United Kingdom. My Department has committed £71 million over the period to March 2004. A consortium of commercial banks is providing both senior and subordinated debt, at a current level of about £140 million.
The first meeting of the board of the company took place on 18 December 2001 in The Hague, while the public launch occurred on 30 January 2002 in London.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will list the projects being supported by the Africa Private Infrastructure Financing Facility and indicate how much money has been allocated to each project. 
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Clare Short: The facility has now been launched as the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund. It is currently investigating a number of possible investment opportunities but, since it has been in existence for a short period of time, the board has not yet taken a decision to commit funds to any specific initiative.
The amount of funding available for investment presently stands at over £200 million. An investment policy has been agreed with the fund managers which will ensure that the projects selected are socially and environmentally sound, and contribute to pro-poor development.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what proportion of the micro- credit agencies supported by her Department are allocated to empower women. 
Clare Short: Most clients of micro-finance institutions are women, who use their community banks to make regular saving deposits or to take out loans to expand their manufacturing or trading micro-enterprises. Research shows that micro-finance services can have a hugely positive social and economic impact on poor and socially marginalised women.
DFID funds many such institutions worldwide. While we do not possess detailed, disaggregated data, we estimate that 7080 per cent. of our funding for micro- finance directly support women. Many organisations that we support explicitly target women clients. For example, BRAC in Bangladesh serves 4.3 million members, over 98 per cent. of whom are female. We are also making progress in countries where women have limited rights. Over the last five years, we supported the rapid growth of Kashf Foundation in Pakistan, a micro-finance institution dedicated to empowering women. It is entirely female-owned and managed, and serves 10,000 women.
Likewise, in several African countries we support FINCA, which provides services almost exclusively to women. We also fund Opportunity International's network of micro-finance institutions in five African countries, serving almost 43,000 women or almost 70 per cent. of its total client base.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many letters from the public her Department has received regarding the sale of an air defence system to Tanzania. 
Clare Short: DFID has received 94 letters from the public and 23 letters from constituents via their MPs regarding the sale of an air traffic system to Tanzania.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will list the European Union directives and regulations relating to her Department that have been implemented in each of the last four years, specifying (a) the title and purpose of each, (b) the cost to public funds of each and (c) the cost to businesses of each. 
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Clare Short: The information requested is not held centrally and providing it would involve disproportionate cost. Regulatory impact assessments are produced for all proposals, including those originating in European legislation, likely to impose significant costs on businesses in the UK and are generally made available in the Library of the House. We do not hold information on the costs of implementation to public funds or businesses.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will list the job advertisements placed by her Department in the last 12 months specifying where the advertisements were placed and the cost in each case. 
Clare Short: The information requested on job advertisements which are place through an advertising contract, has been placed in the Library of the House. In addition, advertisements for the position of Director General (Programmes) were placed in "The Times" and "The Economist" at a cost of £11,461.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the cost was of (a) in- house canteen and (b) other catering services provided by her Department in each of the last four years. 
Clare Short: My Department has spent the following amounts on (a) in-house canteen and (b) catering services since 1 April 1998:
|In-house canteen services (a)||Catering services (b)|
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will list the projects her Department has asked officials at the EBRD to support; and what the value of each of these projects was in each of the last five years. 
Clare Short: The EBRD exists to help restructure the economies of former communist countries in central and eastern Europe. We support all responsible projects that serve this purpose. During the last five years for which figures are available (19962000) EBRD made commitments to 482 projects (total value of euro 11.7 billion).
Lists of the projects that EBRD Directors have approved in the years 19962000 are available in the Annual Reports on the EBRD website www.ebrd.com. I will place a copy of EBRD's Annual Report for 2001 in the Library when it is published.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many members of her
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staff in each of the past two years have been granted a day's paid leave to work as a volunteer; and if she will make a statement. 
Clare Short: Our formal volunteering strategy was introduced in January 2001. All staff are eligible for one day's paid leave a year to allow them to take part in voluntary activities.
I cannot provide statistics for the last two years but following the introduction of our strategy, nine staff were granted paid leave during 2001 to undertake volunteering activities. This figure excludes those staff who have used annual leave to enable them to participate in voluntary activities, or who did so out of working hours. For 2002, we have already approved three days paid leave for one individual.
Q14. Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Prime Minister what plans he has to visit Ramsbottom. 
The Prime Minister: I have no immediate plans to do so.
John McDonnell: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list those functions, engagements and events which he, his officials and advisers have attended which have been sponsored, funded, promoted and hosted by the City of London Corporation since 1997. 
The Prime Minister: I have meetings with a wide range of organisations and individuals. As with previous Administrations it is not my practice to provide details of all such meetings. Since 1997, I have regularly attended the annual Lord Mayor's Banquet.
John McDonnell: To ask the Prime Minister what communications have taken place between himself, his Office and his advisers and the City of London Corporation in relation to the City of London (Ward Elections) Bill since May 1997. 
The Prime Minister: I and my advisers have received representations on the importance that the City of London Corporation attach to the City of London (Ward Elections) Bill.
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