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Hilary Benn: DFID is currently helping over 600,000 people in drought affected areas in southern Mozambique, working in co-ordination with other donors. DFID has recently provided an additional £2.3 million for WFP's operation, which includes a contribution to further vulnerability assessments. In addition, a further £350,000 has been given to support UNICEF's emergency response and vulnerability reduction programme. This programme includes nutritional and epidemiological surveillance, supplementary feeding, and nutrition support for people living with HIV/AIDS. While a good harvest is predicted for April 2004, we shall continue to monitor the situation closely.
In Lesotho, DFID is working closely with the WFP and has already provided £3 million to support feeding programmes and to assist agricultural recovery. However prospects for the 2004 harvest remain grim, with the poorest seasonal rains since records began in 1915. It is evident that food shortages will continue and that vulnerable groups will require on-going assistance. We have earmarked funds to respond to a new emergency appeal which is being prepared.
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Mr. Gareth Thomas: The progress of the on-going reforms aimed at improving EC financial accountability was reviewed by the Secretary of State and the representatives of other member states in the discussion of the annual report for 2002 at the November General External Affairs Council. The investigation by the Commission's Internal Audit Service into all Commission directorates and agencies, including AIDCO, will report early in the new year. All accusations of fraud are taken very seriously and followed up by DFID.
Since the late 1990s, DFID has supported the reform of the EC's aid programmes and policies, in particular the establishment of the EuropeAid office, the reform of the Management Committees, the reduction in the backlog of unspent Commission funds and the reform of the financial management of the Commission's external assistance. These measures should improve the transparency and accountability standards of the EC aid programme financial management through better scrutiny, a key and integral feature of the overall reform process.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent discussions he has had with representatives of non-governmental organisations about the proposal in the Draft European Constitution to merge the roles of High Representative and External Affairs Commissioner of the European Union. 
Mr. Gareth Thomas: I met with the heads of CONCORD, a Brussels-based platform for development NGOs, ActionAid and Eurostep during my visit to Brussels in early September. We discussed the outcome of the Convention debate on development and humanitarian assistance and agreed important progress had been made in these areas so far. We also agreed our main aim for the Inter-governmental Conference, which started in early October, would be to maintain these gains. I also discussed the issue of merging the role of EU's High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy and the External Affairs Commissioner with non-governmental organisations.
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many and what percentage of staff in his Department contribute to a charity through the Give as You Earn scheme; how much money is donated to charity per month by staff in
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his Department through the scheme; and what steps he is taking to encourage greater participation in the scheme by staff in his Department. 
Hilary Benn: In the financial year 200203, 64 DFID employees were regular contributors through the Give as You Earn scheme, representing approximately 3.8 per cent. of the Department's Home Civil Service Staff. The total value of contributions was £16,190, equivalent to £1,349 a month.
The scheme is promoted on our departmental intranet with information about how to contribute and regular updates on scheme initiatives. At our invitation, a representative of the Giving Campaign recently made a presentation about the scheme to DFID Directors and other senior managers.
Mr. Woodward: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what funding the Government provided for HIV/AIDS programmes in (a) Burundi, (b) Democratic Republic of the Congo, (c) Rwanda and (d) Uganda in (i) 2001, (ii) 2002 and (iii) 2003; what funding will be provided in (A) 2004, (B) 2005 and (C) 2006; and what research has been commissioned on the number of people infected in each country. 
DRC: In 200203 a total of £375,622 through MSF for an AIDS Care project in Bukavu was spent; in 200304 a total of £500,000 to Population Services International (PSI) for an expanded programme of condom social marketing has been spent. Research and monitoring is carried out nationally by the National AIDS Control Programme based in Kinshasa. DFID is doubling its core contribution next year as are others. DPID recently published its Country Engagement Plan for the DRC which sets out the key aims for a post-conflict DRC. The fight against HIV/AIDS is one of those aims and we will be working with partners on this as we build up our programme.
Rwanda: £2.95 million to the National AIDS Commission over the period April 2002 to March 2005. The primary objective is to substantially enhance the effectiveness of Rwanda's response to HIV/AIDS. DFID has also committed £895,993 to PSI over the period February 2002 to February 2005 to support social marketing of condoms and £521,000 to support an HIV/AIDS unit within the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology over the period April 2001 to March 2006. In addition, since 200001 DFID has provided £65.4 million in general budget support to the Government of Rwanda (GoR) and is planning to provide a further £84 million over the period 200304 to 200506. This provides core funding so that GoR can tackle its Poverty Reduction Strategy objectives, which include improving HIV/AIDS related health care activities.
Research on the number of people infected with HIV/AIDS was carried out in Rwanda before 1994 and looked at the historical background of HIV infection. In 1997 the Ministry of Health carried out research on the number of people infected and 11.1 per cent. were found to be HIV positive. During six months
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Uganda: In 200001 a total of £1.5 million was spent on HIV/AIDS; in 200102 £0.9 million was spent; in 200203 £1.23 million was spent. A total of £0.78 million has so far been spent in 200304 (£1.27 million is forecast for this financial year). For 200405 and 200506 £2 million is forecast respectively for each year. In addition, since 200001 general budget support has been provided to the Government of Uganda. However, it is impossible to estimate how much is being spent on HIV-related and health care activities. The numbers of people infected are currently measured through a sentinel surveillance system where they are anonymously tested. A survey of 30,000 people is planned for early 2004 and will be undertaken by USAID and the Government of Uganda.
Hilary Benn: Accurate data of the number of children orphaned as a result of HIV/AIDS is limited throughout the Great Lakes region. In Burundi it is estimated to be about 30,000 a year. In DRC it is estimated to be about 800,000 a year. In Rwanda it is estimated to be about 40,000 a year. In Uganda, according to the situation analysis of orphans in Uganda November 2002, it is estimated that there are a total of 2 million orphans of which 884,000 are AIDS orphans. This information was based on 2001 data. We have no more recent data.
Hilary Benn: More than two-thirds of all HIV-infected people live in Sub-Saharan Africasome 25 million people (and over 13 million have already died as a result of AIDS). The Great Lakes region remains the most severely affected and most countries there face a serious crisis.
|Cumulative total of number infected||Cumulative deaths|
In the case of DRC, according to a recent report by the UN, half of the hospital beds are occupied by people with HIV/AIDS and it will take years to measure the exact impact in the country. Efforts to combat HIV/AIDS have been hampered by nearly five years of civil war. The UN mission in-country is using the media to
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increase awareness as well as working through non-governmental organisations. DFID recently published its Country Engagement Plan for the DRC which sets out the key aims for a post-conflict DRC. The fight against HIV/AIDS is one of those aims and we will be working with partners on this as we build up our programme in the DRC.
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