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3 Jun 2003 : Column 267W—continued

Departmental Report

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Minister of State, Department for International Development what the cost was of the publication of the 2001 departmental report. [112807]

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Hilary Benn: The total cost of publication of the 2001 departmental report was £81,576.59.

Departmental Underspending

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what plans she has to reduce her Department's underspend in 2003–04 from that of 2002–03. [112774]

Hilary Benn: Accounts for 2002–3 are still under preparation but any underspend is expected to be small and not to create a need for corrective management action in 2003–4.

Efficiency Savings

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Minister of State, Department for International Development what the target is for efficiency savings in 2003–04 expressed (a) in money terms and (b) as a percentage of the Department's expenditure limit. [114109]

Hilary Benn: DFID now promotes efficiency through annually reviewed Service Level Agreements for the main administrative overhead functions and by periodic reviews for other areas, rather than through a single efficiency target. The ratio of administrative overheads to the total programme is expected be 1.36 per cent in 2003–04 compared to 1.42 per cent. in 2002–03. Had the ratio remained constant, it would have implied administrative overheads some £2 million higher in 2003–04 than is now planned; this is 1 per cent. of the departmental expenditure limit for Administration costs.


John Barrett: To ask the Minister of State, Department for International Development if he will make a statement on the humanitarian situation in the Bidre resettlement site in Ethiopia; and what action his Department is taking to improve the (a) accommodation facilities, (b) food relief and (c) access to water within the camp. [115734]

Hilary Benn: We have not had direct involvement with the Bidre resettlement site. However, we have engaged with the Ethiopian Government and other donors, both through dialogue and joint field visits, to assess the overall impact of the resettlement programme. While some resettlement sites have positive potential, the speed of this programme and limited resources have also resulted in problems. Accommodation, food and water are critical in some sites and must be addressed as a matter of urgency. At the same time, we will work with the Ethiopian Government to help them learn lessons from these early experiences before expanding the programme further.

In addition, the Ethiopian Government have been providing food and non-food humanitarian assistance to address humanitarian issues, such as food and water, on resettlement sites. We have been playing a significant role in responding to the overall humanitarian situation in Ethiopia, with more than £48 million of humanitarian assistance being provided since the beginning of 2002.

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John Barrett: To ask the Minister of State, Department for International Development what action he is taking to assist people who have suffered from the flooding in southern Ethiopia. [115739]

Hilary Benn: The rains in Ethiopia have brought flooding to parts of the Somali region in Ethiopia. It is reported that about 119 people have died and some 110,000 have been forced from their homes.

A large relief operation is under way, although the UN report that lack of access to affected areas has hampered operations. The Ethiopian Government have used cargo planes to bring in emergency supplies and high-energy food for the victims in the region, and have provided a helicopter. UNICEF, ICRC and the regional government have also been transporting emergency medical kits, water treatment facilities, shelter material and jerry cans. WFP have warned that food aid needs may have to be reassessed because of the flooding.

Of the over £48 million of humanitarian assistance that DFID has provided for Ethiopia since the beginning of 2002, a substantial proportion has been for the work of ICRC, UNICEF and WFP.

John Barrett: To ask the Minister of State, Department for International Development if he will make a statement on recent levels of malaria in the Somali region of Ethiopia. [115740]

Hilary Benn: Following a recent visit by the World Health Organisation's (WHO) Ethiopia country office to the flood affected Somali region, the WHO's Communicable Disease Control Centre in Geneva confirm there is no Malaria epidemic. However, the WHO will continue to monitor the situation given the unstable and seasonal nature of Malaria transmission in the country.

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Minister of State, Department for International Development how much of the food aid promised by the Government to Ethiopia has been delivered; and if he will make a statement. [116133]

Hilary Benn: Since September 2002, Government contributions for cereal food aid have been as follows:

In October 2002 we provided over £1.4 million Save Children (UK) for the purchase of 6,400 metric tonnes of cereal, which has been delivered.

We made a contribution of £15 million to the World Food Programme (WFP) in December 2002 and a further £2million in March 2003. Of this 86,335 metric tonnes of cereal, 78,000 metric tonnes was distributed in February and March 2003. The balance is being transported for distribution in areas that will not be accessible during the rainy season. We are in the process of making another payment of £8 million to the WFP, which WFP expect to quickly deliver as food aid by drawing down cereals from the Ethiopian Food Security Reserve.

Along with other donors, we provided £2 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross Emergency Appeal this February. At the end of April 2003, 13,500 metric tonnes of food aid and 1,700 metric tonnes of seeds had been provided from the Appeal.

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Norman Lamb: To ask the Minister of State, Department for International Development, when the Secretary of State received the Treasury documents relating to the five economic tests and the 18 background studies; what discussions she has held with ministerial colleagues on the tests since receipt of the documents; when she expects to complete her analysis of the documents; and what representations (a) she and (b) departmental officials will make to other Departments before a decision is reached on the economic tests. [115386]

Hilary Benn: The Treasury's 18 supporting studies on EMU were sent to Cabinet Ministers on 16 May. The Prime Minister and the Chancellor are holding meetings with Cabinet Members. There will be an initial discussion at Cabinet on 22 May followed by a special Cabinet meeting on 5 June. The Chancellor will make a statement to the House of Commons on 9 June.

Export Control

Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Minister of State, Department for International Development whether the Department made a submission to the DTI consultation on Export Control. [115023]

Hilary Benn: No.


Dr. Tonge: To ask the Minister of State, Department for International Development what progress has been made in the tendering process for the management and supply of water in Accra, Ghana; and if he will make a statement. [116403]

Hilary Benn: Private sector participation in the management and supply of water supplies in all the urban centres of Ghana is still under consideration by the Government of Ghana. No invitations to tender have been issued.


Dr. Tonge: To ask the Minister of State, Department for International Development what assessment he has made of the availability of retroviral drugs for pregnant women with AIDS in (a) Malawi, (b) Kenya and (c) South Africa. [116405]

Hilary Benn : Following a constitutional court ruling in 2002, the South African Government agreed to make Nevirapine available to all pregnant women for the prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV. The Government have begun rolling out the provision of Nevirapine, although availability varies between the country's nine Provinces and is not yet universal.

There are a number of pilot programmes for anti-retroviral therapy (ART) and prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT). The Malawi Global Fund proposal for $198 million over five years, approved in August 2002, includes substantial financial allocations for ART and PMTCT. Clinical guidelines are being developed, but there has been limited progress in addressing equity and targeting issues to date.

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In Kenya, availability of ART is limited to several small pilot projects. However, Kenya's application to the global fund has been approved in principle; it includes $36 million for HIV including the provision for ART for pregnant women. The plan is to cover 10 per cent. of those pregnant women in need of ART in the first year increasing to 60 per cent. by year 4. In making this decision on coverage they took into consideration the support systems required to deliver ART to pregnant women, such as voluntary counselling and testing and adequate medical staff. DFID spends £6.5 million a year on HIV/AIDs in Kenya and is helping the Ministry of Health to develop a comprehensive strategy to deliver ART effectively.

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