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DFID's Public Service Agreement for 200508 identifies 16 focus countries in Africa (Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone,
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South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe) and nine in Asia (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan and Vietnam). DFID is working with country governments and other donors in these focus countries to reduce poverty using international aid.
In addition, DFID provides aid to countries in Europe and Central Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and across the Middle East and North Africa. Within this group, DFID is currently providing significant support to both Iraq and the Palestinian Authority.
A full breakdown of expenditure across all the countries DFID supports is provided in the recently published Statistics on International Development (2004 Edition), which is available in the House of Commons Library.
Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many chief technical adviser posts there were in (a) 200203 and (b) 200304; and how many such posts have been abolished in the past year. 
Mr. Gareth Thomas: DFID had nine chief technical advisers in 200203. No posts were abolished, though internal restructuring saw these posts redefined as heads of profession in 2003. There are 10 heads of profession. The increase in posts arises from these being separate heads of profession for rural livelihoods and environment, a schedule previously covered by the chief national resources technical adviser.
Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the cost of refurbishments in his Department was in each year since 1997; and what the planned expenditure is for 200506. 
Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many properties are held by the Department; what total floor space these properties provide; how many properties are vacant; and how much floor space vacant properties comprise. 
Mr. Gareth Thomas: The Cabinet Office collects and publishes annually statistical information on the civil service by Department. These include data on the number of women in senior positions in Departments.
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many staff in his Department were employed to deal with Freedom of Information Act 2000 issues in (a) 2001, (b) 2002, (c) 2003 and (d) 2004; and how many staff are budgeted to deal with Freedom of Information Act 2000 issues in (i) 2005 and (ii) 2006. 
Beyond those staff directly involved in the ongoing implementation and application of FOI within a Department, it is difficult to identify precisely the number of officials who will be dealing with FOI issues from 1 January 2005, since it is potentially part of every civil servant's role to respond to FOI requests.
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Ms Keeble: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when his Department will publish a strategy for meeting the needs of HIV/AIDS orphans and vulnerable children in developing countries; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Gareth Thomas: Taking Action, the UK strategy on AIDS published in July 2004, set out a clear and ambitious agenda for the UK Government to tackle HIV and AIDS in developing countries. The strategy commits the UK Government to ensure that DFID spends at least £150 million over the next three years on programmes to meet the needs of orphans and other children, particularly those in Africa, made vulnerable by HIV and AIDS.
The UK's approach is to get behind internationally agreed targets. Hence one of the seven key targets for the UK strategy is to achieve a United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) target:
We have endorsed the UNICEF/UNAIDS Framework for the protection, care and support of orphans and vulnerable children living in a world with HIV and AIDS. We will follow this direction and not publish a separate strategy.
Ms Keeble: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what plans he has to support community-based organisations providing support for HIV/AIDS orphans and vulnerable children in developing countries. 
In addition to the work of NGOs directly supported by DFID's country offices, we are currently renegotiating Partnership Programme Agreements with key UK organisations such as Voluntary Services Overseas, HelpAge International, the Panos Institute, Save the Children and the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, all of whom work with orphans and vulnerable children.
Across all of our Partnership Programme Agreements we will increase their funding by £16 million in 2005many new agreements will include AIDS-related work as a key objective and some will include work with orphans and vulnerable children.
We will also increase our Civil Society Challenge Fund from £10 million to £14 million next year, and we will continue to encourage proposals from NGOs to support vulnerable groups such as orphans and vulnerable children affected by AIDS.
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