|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
26 Jan 2004 : Column 18Wcontinued
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much space, expressed in square metres, the Department occupies for the offices of civil servants in (a) central London and (b) Greater London. 
Mr. Gareth Thomas: DFID occupies two offices in Central London, at 1 Palace street, SW1 and 20 Victoria street SW1. The sizes of these are 15,910 sq m and 1,178 sq m respectively. We have no other offices in Central London.
Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent discussions he has had with the Rwandan Government concerning military activity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 
We discuss regularly with the Government of Rwanda the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Since the withdrawal of the Rwandan Defence Force (RDF) from the DRC in October 2002 we have received several unconfirmed reports from a variety of sources about the continued presence of RDF personnel in eastern DRC. The UN Mission in the DRC (MONUC) has investigated these reports but has found no evidence to substantiate them. The Rwandan government, with whom we have raised these allegations, have denied they have forces in the DRC.
26 Jan 2004 : Column 19W
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment he has made of the number of internally displaced people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, broken down by region. 
Hilary Benn: The most recent statistical data available from the Relief Web, puts the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) at over three million. These IDPs are mainly in eastern DRC.
|Democratic Republic of Congo||Number|
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will list the organisations funded by his Department in each of the last three years which have received (a) less than £1 million, (b) less than £750,000, (c) less than £500,000, (d) less than £250,000 and (e) less than £100,000. 
Hilary Benn: This information is not readily available in respect of every type of organisation and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. However, the funding DFID has provided to UK based civil society organisations within each of the financial thresholds over the last three financial years has been placed in the Library in a document entitled "Funding to UK Civil Society OrganisationsWritten Parliamentary Question 148548".
Mr. Gareth Thomas: A breakdown of European Commission official development assistance in 2002 by country/region and sector, and details of individual project commitments can be found in the "Annual Report 2003 from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on the EC Development Policy and the Implementation of External Assistance in 2002"; a copy of which is in the Library of the House. Copies of the EC's Country and Regional Strategy Papers can be obtained from its website (www.europa.eu.int).
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many staff in his Department devote a proportion of their working time to involvement in EU aid projects, broken down by grade. 
26 Jan 2004 : Column 20W
Mr. Gareth Thomas: DFID's European Union department currently has a complement of 15 staff, headed by a Senior Civil Service Grade 5, and including four middle management grades and 10 junior management and administrative officers.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make a statement on the study by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine of the performance of the Global Health Fund. 
The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine's (LSHTM) study showed that there is commitment to achieving the goals of the Global Fund and that it has had a positive effect in attracting new partners to the Fund. It also highlights the need for improved communication between countries and the Global Fund, and the Country Coordination Mechanisms. It shows the need for harmonisation of funding flows, a good financial management system and planning process and alignment of Global Fund activities with countries' own systems and processes. We are working closely with the Global Fund on all these issues.
DFID supports the role of independent evaluators and their contribution to improving performance through sound analysis. We recognise that such evaluations should be forward looking and form part of the Global Fund's overall monitoring and evaluation strategy.
Mr. Woodward: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what support he provides to programmes in the Great Lakes region of Africa that educate HIV-positive men about treatment for their condition. 
Hilary Benn: DFID is supporting work on HIV in Rwanda, Burundi and the DRC. Our support to Burundi and Rwanda through the International Partnership against AIDS in Africa (IPAA), totalling £4.15 million for Burundi and £2.95 million for Rwanda over a three-year period, includes support for the education of HIV-positive men.
In the DRC, we have been supporting projects run by Médecins sans Frontières and Population Services International (PSI), which also cover the education of HIV-positive men. We plan to further increase our support to the fight against HIV/AIDS as an identified priority in DFID's recently published Country Engagement Plan for the DRC.
26 Jan 2004 : Column 21W
Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions he has had with (a) non-governmental organisations and (b) the UN concerning provision for AIDS orphans in Africa. 
Hilary Benn: Meeting the needs of the growing number of orphans and vulnerable children in Africa is a challenge that the Department for International Development is determined to address effectively. DFID is continuing its work and discussions with the United Nations Joint Programme for HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) who are co-ordinating other development agencies and NGOs to develop: treatment programmes to prolong the lives of parents; free access to education and enhanced support to the families and communities caring for orphans and vulnerable children.
DFID is working with NGOs in a number of countries. In Zimbabwe, DFID is providing support for orphans and vulnerable children and child headed households through its NGO feeding programme. In addition, a bilateral programme with the Zimbabwe Red Cross and John Snow International is providing food to households affected by AIDS (including child-headed households) and some orphanages. We are also starting work with a faith-based organisation in South Africa (the Church of the Province of Southern Africa) to reduce stigma, improve home-based care and care for orphans and vulnerable children.
The launch of the UK's "Call for Action on HIV/AIDS" (On World Aids Day 1 December 2003) marked the first step in the intensification of this Government's efforts to tackle HIV/AIDS. On World Aids Day I hosted a meeting with NGO's on the UK's "Call for Action" and a new UK Strategy for HIV/AIDS. The issue of how to respond to the growing number of orphans and children made vulnerable by AIDS was raised during this meeting. We will be consulting further with NGOs on this important issue as part of our consultation process for the UK Strategy planned for publication in July 2004.
Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what plans he has for ensuring the adequacy of healthcare systems in countries likely to (a) obtain and (b) use antiretroviral drugs for treatment of AIDS. 
Mr. Gareth Thomas: DFID is committed to increasing access to treatment as part of a comprehensive response to HIV/AIDS, and welcomes the WHO/UNAIDS target to get three million people on treatment by 2005. The UK will provide £12.5 million to the World Health Organisation in 200304 to support its work, including '3 by 5'. We have supported WHO to make the strengthening of health services a key part of their strategy to reach the '3 by 5' target. As treatment programmes are expanded it will be essential to invest in health systems in order to ensure that services for HIV, including voluntary counselling and testing and the provision of treatment, and other health services, are of good quality and accessible by poor communities and particularly women. This includes better co-ordination of public, private and NGO treatment initiatives. We also support community
26 Jan 2004 : Column 22W
involvement in health service delivery as a well-informed civil society has been shown to be essential in the sustainability of comprehensive health systems.
DFID has provided £1.5 billion since 1997 to the strengthening of health systems in developing countries and we see this as an essential element of the response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. We are working with partners to build sound healthcare systems as the cornerstone of efforts to accelerate progress to achieve the Millennium Development Goals; to improve maternal and child health and reduce the impact of HIV and other major communicable diseases. The UK was a prime mover in setting up the High Level Forum on Health MDGs, which was held in Geneva in January 2004 and at which developing and donor countries discussed concrete actions to increase health service capacity to meet international development goals. DFID also supports the integration of HIV/AIDS into wider health sector policies and national poverty reduction strategies.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|