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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what estimate he has made of the number of child soldiers in Darfur. 
Hilary Benn: There is no reliable information on the number of child soldiers in Darfur.
The United Kingdom has raised this issue with the Government of Sudan and the rebel movement on a regular basis. DFID will continue to work closely with organisations such as UNICEF, who are the main co-ordinators in the child protection sector, to address this issue.
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Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much has been spent on entertainment by his Department in each year since 1997, broken down by (a) food, (b) alcohol, (c) staff and (d) accommodation. 
Mr. Gareth Thomas: Figures for entertainment within administration costs budgets for years for which information is readily available are shown as follows:
The figures for entertainment include working breakfasts and lunches, refreshments at meetings and official entertainment. It is not possible to disaggregate specific entertainment costs relating to food, alcohol, staff and accommodation without incurring a disproportionate cost.
All entertainment is made in accordance with published departmental guidance on financial procedures and propriety, based on principles set out in Government Accounting.
In 200304 DFID introduced new procedures to draw together administration costs, including those entertainment costs which had previously been recorded on country programme budgets. These changes have improved transparency and management of administration costs, but mean that figures from 200304 now include entertainment costs that were previously funded by country programmes and as a result are not comparable with earlier years.
Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much the Department spent on lawyers in each year since 1997; how many (a) actions, (b) settlements and (c) court cases there were in each year; and what the costs were of each settlement. 
Hilary Benn: DFID obtains advice on litigation through the Treasury Solicitor's Department. The cost of this advice for the years in question was as follows.
DFID does not hold information centrally on the details and costs of individual cases, which could therefore be provided only at disproportionate cost.
I also refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the House last year by the Foreign Secretary on 16 June 2003, Official Report, columns 4445W.
Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the running costs of the Department were in each year since 1997, broken down by (a) electricity, (b) water, (c) gas, (d) telephones, (e) mobile telephones and (f) televisions. 
Hilary Benn: Figures for UK based offices for electricity, water, gas and telephone costs within administration budgets for years for which information is readily available are shown as follows.
Information for earlier years is not readily available and in some cases will no longer be held also it is not possible to disaggregate separate costs for mobile phones or televisions without incurring a disproportionate cost.
Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much aid has been given by the UK Government to the reconstruction in Bam, Iran, in the aftermath of the earthquake of 2003, broken down by (a) monetary aid and (b) resources and materials; and what proportion has been sent so far to the area. 
Hilary Benn: Following the earthquake in Bam, the Department for International Development committed £1,676,640 to support immediate humanitarian needs and rebuild livelihoods. £1,206,640 was channelled through United Nations agencies and non-governmental organisations as financial support.
From the balance, DFID provided 68 search and rescue specialists and four DFID personnel, 450 family winter tents and other shelter materials for distribution by the Iranian Red Crescent as well as two cargo aircraft put at the disposal of the Iranian Government.
In addition, the European Community Humanitarian Aid Office contributed €8.5 million for emergency relief and rehabilitation of which the UK's share was €1.445 million (£1.01 million).
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the value was of the total UK contribution to the earthquake emergencies and reconstructions in (a) Bhuj, India and (b) Bam, Iran. 
In response to the earthquake in Bhuj, India, the Department for International Development provided £8,749,426 for emergency relief and to help to rebuild livelihoods. This money was channelled through international organisations such as the UN
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agencies and the Red Cross, and international and local non-governmental organisations. The World Bank and the Asian Development Bank are funding the reconstruction programme with loans of US $1 billion and US $500 million respectively.
Following the Bam earthquake, DFID committed £1,676,640 for the immediate and medium term relief. In addition, the European Community Humanitarian Aid Office contributed €8.5 million for emergency relief and rehabilitation of which the UK's share was €1.445 million (£1.01 million).
Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what funds remain in his Department's emergency reserve; and what plans he has to increase them. 
Hilary Benn: DFID has now fully allocated its Central Contingency Reserve for 200405 to fund humanitarian relief programmes in tsunami affected countries. We retain a small provision within our humanitarian budget for continuing humanitarian responses over the remaining period of this financial year.
Sir Archy Kirkwood: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what priorities have been identified for action in the fields of international reconstruction and development during the UK's presidency of the EU. 
Hilary Benn: 2005 is a year of opportunity for development, with the UK presidencies of the G8 and the European Union, the United Nations Millennium Review Summit in September and the World Trade Organisation Ministerial in Hong Kong in December. As the world's largest aid donor and key trading partner of most developing countries, the EU has a very important role to play in seizing this opportunity and helping to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The Government's first task during the EU presidency will be to take forward the work we inherit from the Luxembourg presidency. This is likely to feature discussions on development financing and crisis management. It will also include reconstruction work following the Indian Ocean tsunami and the EU's contribution to reconstruction and development work in countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan.
We plan to use the meetings that we will chair to focus the EU on helping to meet the MDGs with particular attention on Africa and diseases such as AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. We will also seek to further improve the effectiveness and poverty-focus of EC external spending.
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