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Vera Baird: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment her Department has made of the (a) World Bank and (b) IMF policy towards states in the Great Lakes region. 
Clare Short: The World Bank and IMF both have key roles to play in the Great Lakes region in supporting programmes for the demobilisation and reintegration of armed groups, post-conflict reconstruction and longer term economic development, and I believe the two institutions are approaching these tasks constructively. However the primary requirement remains to achieve a settlement of the Great Lakes conflict, without which no regeneration programmes can be successful. We continue to believe that full re-engagement by the Bank and IMF in the Democratic Republic of the Congo should be contingent upon achievement of an inclusive political settlement as provided for under the Lusaka peace accords.
Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) how long her Department allowed for consultation on each consultation document it published in 2001 in (a) electronic and (b) printed form;  (2) whether consultation documents published by her Department in 2001 carried the consultation criteria as recommended in the Cabinet Office Code of Practice on Written Consultations; 
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(3) in what format her Department has published the results of its 2001 written consultations;  (4) how many consultation documents published in 2001 in (a) electronic and (b) printed form her Department has monitered and evaluated in accordance with the Cabinet Office Code of Practice on Written Consultations;  (5) how many complaints her Department has received about its 2001 consultations in (a) electronic and (b) printed form;  (6) which consultation documents published by her Department in 2001 were not made available as paper copies;  (7) whether her Department has a designated consultation co-ordinator in accordance with the Cabinet Office Code of Practice on Written Consultations. 
Clare Short: We attach considerable importance to engaging with a wide range of groups across society on our international development work, for example through our Development Policy Forums, publications and briefing notes on major international meetings. However, the nature of the issues for which my department is responsible mean that formal consultation processes are likely to be of interest only to a limited range of people. So while we take account of the principles set out in the Cabinet Office Code of Practice on Written Consultations, and have appointed a designated consultation co-ordinator in accordance with the Code, we do not regard our consultation activities as generally falling within the full provisions of the Code.
In 2001 we carried out limited consultations on one DFID Target Strategy Paper:
(a) "Meeting the Challenge of Urban Poverty" which was made available for public consultation from November 2000 until 12 January 2001. The final document was published in April 2001.
The consultation document was made available in print, and in electronic form via the DFID website. It is DFID practice to make consultation documents available in print and on line until the publication of the finished document. No complaints were received in 2001 regarding this document. At the close of the consultation period the results were published as a final DFID Target Strategy Paper.
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much money the Government have spent on HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programmes in developing countries in each year since 1997. 
Clare Short: Under my department's bilateral programmes we have spent the following amounts on HIV/AIDS related work in developing countries;
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John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the answer of 11 July, ref 68323, on HIV/AIDS, on what occasions HIV/AIDS related projects funded by her Department have been changed following impact assessments. 
Clare Short: Examples of changes made to our HIV/AIDS programmes following impact assessments include:
1. Zambia a project to inform adolescents about HIV/AIDS was not reaching its intended audience. We have since co-funded a follow-on project which is better designed to reach young adults through their peers.
2. Cambodia a brand of condom targeted at young people was found to be too closely associated with commercial sex. Consideration is being given to how the brand of condom can be repositioned.
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the answer of 11 July, 2002, ref. 68323, on HIV/AIDS, what action her Department is taking to ensure information of good practice in high impact projects is shared for the benefit of other projects seeking to tackle the HIV/AIDS virus. 
Clare Short: Regular contact between sectoral and geographical departments, including through our HIV/AIDS multi-sectoral task force, helps ensure that lesson learnt about the epidemic are disseminated widely, both internally and externally to DFID. Our communications systems have also been improved significantly and provide ready access to up to date technical guidance (including UNAIDS' best practice) and lessons learned from programmes. We are also working closely with other government departments to ensure a consistent government approach to the epidemic.
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what records her Department keeps of the (a) quantity and (b) type of medicines donated by UK drugs companies to developing countries. 
Clare Short: The Government does not keep records of the quantity or type of medicines donated by UK drugs companies to developing countries.
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) what steps she is taking to prevent the donation of expired and nearly expired medicines to developing countries;  (2) what guidelines exist to ensure that medicines donated by UK drugs companies to developing countries are suitable for the needs of the recipient country;  (3) what steps she is taking to ensure medicines donated to developing countries are (a) properly labelled and (b) written in the language of the recipient country. 
Clare Short: My Department worked closely with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to produce their "Guidelines for Drug Donations".
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The WHO guidelines clearly set out inter alia that drug donations should: constitute a sustainable contribution to government health strategies in developing countries; be based on need and relevant to the disease pattern of recipient countries; have at least 1 year remaining shelf life; be of a quality which complies with the standards of donor and recipient countries; be properly labelled and written in the language of the recipient country; and only provided after consultation and at the request of the recipient.
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment she has made of the impact the donation of free medicines from drug companies has had on local drugs markets in developing countries. 
Clare Short: The Government worked closely with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to produce their guidelines on drug donations. These guidelines clearly set out that drug donations should only be provided after consultation and at the request of the recipient.
WHO is responsible for monitoring the impact of drug donations on developing countries. In discussions with them, we have received no evidence that UK donations have undermined local drug markets.
Mr. Beith: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the cost was of publishing her Department's annual report for each of the past five years. 
Clare Short: The cost of publishing my Department's Annual Report for each of the last five years is as follows:
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average processing time was for housing benefit in each local authority area in Scotland for each of the last six years; and if he will make a statement. 
Malcolm Wicks: Prior to the introduction of Best Value performance indicators in April 2000, information was not collected from local authorities on the length of time taken to process Housing Benefit claims.
Performance indicators for Scotland are the responsibility of the Accounts Commission for Scotland. Information on the average time taken by each local authority in Scotland to process new Housing Benefit claims for 200001 is in the Accounts Commission publication "Performance Indicators 200001: Benefits, Finance and Corporate Issues", a copy of which is available in the Library.
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Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what percentage of housing benefit claimants received their payment within the Government's 14-day target in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Malcolm Wicks: Information is not available in the format requested.
Mr. Kirkwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when findings from the housing benefit review will be published. 
Malcolm Wicks: The first publication of findings from the housing benefit review is expected in Autumn 2003.
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