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20 Nov 2002 : Column 198W—continued

Healthcare and Education

Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what proportion of overseas aid has been directed to basic health care and education services for children, and how much this is in real terms, in each year since 1997. [80987]

Clare Short: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer to the hon. Member for Richmond Park (Dr. Tonge) on 7 November 2002, Official Report, column 674W.


John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what progress is being made towards increasing the levels of HIV/Aids testing in Zimbabwe. [80936]

Clare Short: Zimbabwe has made progress in building and meeting demand for Voluntary Counselling and Testing for HIV (VCT). Access is rapidly increasing through the XNew Start" network of VCT centres, a campaign implemented by Population Services International (PSI) and the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare. 99,000 clients have visited new start centres since the campaign started in 2000. PSI aims to more than double the yearly VCT client flows by the end of 2004 while maintaining high quality services and broadening access. USAID and DFID are PSI-Zimbabwe's major supporters, with DFID providing nearly #7 million of flexible support for VCT and other HIV prevention activities.

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Human Rights

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will list the countries which the Government assesses as having poor records on human rights, and in which CDC Capital Partners makes investments. [80565]

Clare Short: We believe in general that it is best to engage constructively with states on a broad range of human rights issues. Such an approach will help poor people to realise their rights and reduce violations. We do not maintain a list of countries with a Xpoor" human rights record. This is no part of the remit of CDC Capital Partners, which invests in businesses, not in governments.

IT Security

Brian White: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps she has taken to review the security of the Department's IT system; and how many digital attacks there were on the Department's system in (a) October and (b) 2002. [80775]

Clare Short: 1. DFID has taken a number of steps in recent months to review the security arrangements for the Department's IT systems. A review of the anti-virus (AV) arrangements is currently under way, and is expected to complete soon with any resulting changes implemented by the end of this year. Secondly, another review is considering the way in which classified information is handled and stored within the Department's IT systems. The review paper and conclusions are due to be put before the highest level IT Steering Committee (the KCC) later this month, with accepted recommendations being implemented progressively throughout 2003.

2. DFID's IT systems were subjected to one digital attack during October. The new BugBear virus entered the system via a visiting user from our Dar-es-Salaam office accessing his HotMail account, and the virus subsequently infected 15 PCs. This entry point was immediately plugged when it was discovered.

3. During the rest of 2002 there were two other digital attacks on the systems. In April DFID was infected with the Elkern virus. This entered DFID before there was a pattern file available to detect it. In all, one server and 500 PCs were affected—about one in six of the user population. The pattern file was applied as soon as it was available from the AV software supplier, and no re-infections have been reported. In November, a routine sweep of the databases revealed one occurrence of the Redlof/A virus, which had infected 26 files on one user machine.

4. Virus detection is applied at the DFID Internet Gateway, before messages are allowed into the systems. Logging is not generally left switched on because the logfiles fill up very quickly. However, logging is periodically captured and examined. During the period 8–15 November, 513 messages appearing at the gateway were found to contain viruses and were prevented from entering.

5. There were no hacking attempts on DFID systems during the year.

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Paramedical Health Personnel

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on her Department's policy on the creation of paramedical health personnel to administer simple treatments in developing countries. [80552]

Clare Short: Health systems in many poor countries do not have the capacity to deliver drugs and care in a safe and effective way. The Government's long term strategy is to help poor countries develop functioning health systems with the capacity to provide a series of different outputs. Encompassing preventive, health promoting, acute and chronic curative care and services. Human resources are central to functioning health systems and our work with partner countries includes support for locally appropriate strategies and plans to ensure health systems have the right staff. In some cases, such strategies include the training and deployment of various staff to perform basic treatments. Since 1997, we have committed over #1 billion, to help developing countries put in place and strengthen effective health care systems. We are also working with the World bank, the World Health Organisation and other multilateral partners on this long term agenda.

Per Capita Aid

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much aid her Department provides per capita to (a) Afghanistan; (b) Bosnia; and (c) Rwanda, and what proportion of this is disbursed (i) bilaterally and (ii) through the European Commission. [80572]

Clare Short: UK bilateral official development assistance (oda) to Afghanistan, Bosnia and Rwanda is set out in the table:

UK oda (# million)Population (million)UK oda per capita (#)

In addition we estimate the following amounts of UK funds were disbursed through the European Commission in each of the countries:

UK imputed multilateral shares via EC (# million)Per capita UK imputed shares via EC (#)

Safe Water

Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what measures will be taken by the Government to reach its targets for access to basic sanitation and in developing water efficiency plans. [81057]

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Clare Short: The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) provide the focus of my Department's work. My Department is working to build an effective response by the international system to support developing countries in reducing poverty and achieving the MDGs. This includes supporting the United Nations Development Programme in monitoring progress towards the MDGs country by country.

The World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg extended the MDG target on access to water to include sanitation. It also made a commitment to develop integrated water resources management and water efficiency plans by 2005. My Department is working with developing countries, other development agencies and financial institutions to ensure that support is provided so that these commitments are kept and the MDG targets are achieved. In particular, we currently support several major multilateral initiatives including:

My Department is also participating in the EU Water Initiative which is aimed at creating strategic partnerships to achieve the WSSD goals on clean water and sanitation. It also promotes co-operation between countries sharing an international river basin in managing their water resources and aims to improve the efficiency of existing financing mechanisms for water infrastructure through better donor co-ordination.

In addition to multilateral co-operation, our commitment to achieve the 2005 water management and 2015 water and sanitation targets includes bilateral programmes in many countries in the developing world including Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, India, South Africa, and Nigeria.

My Department also funds resource centres dedicated to enhancing communication, knowledge transfer and co-operation between DFID, its partners and other organisations in the management of water resources as well as in the fields of environmental health, water supply and sanitation. Additionally, through the Knowledge and Research (KaR) programme, my Department is funding research projects that investigate key water resource management questions and cost effective means of delivering water, sanitation and hygiene services.

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