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Political Participation Fund

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will list the amounts paid over the last two years from the Political Participation Fund, indicating the recipient, the country they are operating in and the purpose of the grant in each case. [211101]

Hilary Benn: DFID's Political Participation Fund (PPF) for Iraq aims to maximise citizen participation and representation in the political process, particularly the poor and vulnerable. Following the signing of the contract with the project managers, the British Council, in August 2004, the PPF has so far committed £1.24 million to 29 projects.

The PPF provides funds to a wide range of Iraqi partners for political awareness and voter education programmes. Activities include journalist training, radio programmes, the production of posters and brochures, workshops, symposiums, seminars and research. I regret that I am unable to provide a list of the
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organisations receiving funding from the PPF, as known links between Iraqi organisations and DFID or the UK Government could inhibit their work or threaten their security.

Rapid Assessment Analysis Action Planning

Mrs. Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how his Department plans to be involved in the implementation of the existing national plans of action resulting from the UNICEF-led Rapid Assessment Analysis Action Planning process. [211152]

Hilary Benn: At the Global Partners Forum on orphans and vulnerable children in Washington DC in December 2004, my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State announced how DFID would be meeting its spending target of at least £150 million on orphans and vulnerable children over the next three years. This included £38 million to be delivered through UNICEF for work in Africa.

DFID plans to work very closely with UNICEF to support elements of the Rapid Assessment Analysis Action Planning Process (RAAAP) plans in some of the countries in Africa which are most affected by AIDS—this includes six Southern African countries: Angola, Botswana, Swaziland, Namibia, Lesotho and South Africa under a regional programme estimated at £18 million over three years, and in a separate programme of support in Zimbabwe.

The support DFID provides will be based upon the UNICEF Framework for the protection, care and support of orphans and vulnerable children living in a world with HIV/AIDS, which aims to: strengthen families' ability to cope, through such things as financial credits, child care and developing skills; start and support community-based responses, largely through involving local leaders; ensure that vulnerable children have access to essential services, such as education and health care; ensure that governments protect the children that are the most vulnerable; and, finally, raise awareness to create an environment that understands and supports those children.

DFID is also planning to work with UNICEF and provide assistance to strengthen the capacity and competence of UNICEF's Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO). This is in order that RAAAP plans can be built into wider planning and implementation processes and interventions are based on firm evidence about their effectiveness. We are also developing a programme of support to UNICEF in New York so that they can provide global oversight and develop country commitment and the means to monitor and track the international response to meeting the needs of vulnerable children.

We are working though our bilateral programmes in DFID's target countries in Africa, with Government, and civil society organisations to address the needs of vulnerable children. Where countries have their own Poverty Reduction Strategies, DFID is pressing for children and AIDS" issues to be included in budget planning, allocation and expenditure. This is being done in close consultation with UNICEF.
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Clare Short: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether it is his Department's policy to continue adherence to the Memorandum of Understanding signed with Rwanda with the intention of providing long-term stable funding to support Rwanda's development and recovery from genocide. [213100]

Hilary Benn: The UK Government are Rwanda's major bilateral development partner. Our relationship with the Government of Rwanda is based on the UK/Rwanda Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which provides a basis for dialogue and assessment of progress.

The MoU describes the Government of Rwanda's commitments to the Rwandan people on poverty reduction, promoting regional stability, creating a democratic and inclusive state, and progressively securing human rights, and confirms that the UK's support depends on continuing, specific progress in these areas.

The MoU also describes the UK's commitments to the Government of Rwanda, in particular their commitment to reducing poverty in Rwanda through predictable, flexible support over the long-term and to continue to develop the UK's engagement in a transparent and inclusive manner. UK development assistance allocated to Rwanda is £42 million in 2004–05, rising to £46 million in 2005–06.

Sri Lanka

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development with which non-governmental organisation his Department is working to provide relief and reconstruction to tsunami victims in Sri Lanka; and if he will make a statement. [211300]

Hilary Benn: The Department for International Development's humanitarian response to the tsunami disaster in Sri Lanka has been channelled through United Nations agencies, the Red Cross movement, and non-governmental organisations and in direct in-kind interventions aimed at addressing immediate needs. DFID is providing financial support to five NGOs: Save the Children Fund UK, HelpAge International, World Vision UK, Basic Needs and ZOA Refugee Care. We are also considering proposals from 12 other NGOs regarding transitional shelter, water and sanitation and livelihoods support. The assistance that DFID has provided, and is supporting, is geographically spread throughout the country. This includes substantial support to Tamil communities in proportion to needs across the country.

DFID's focus for longer-term reconstruction in Sri Lanka is likely to be on providing support to the rebuilding of livelihoods and services for poor people in affected regions. The Sri Lankan Government are putting together a needs assessment with the support of the World Bank and others and DFID will consider how we can best channel our support when we receive the completed assessments.
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Tsunami Relief

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State, Department for International Development what representations he has received about the cost of transporting food to the Asian disaster zone; and delays in its despatch. [210505]

Hilary Benn: I have received no representations on the cost of transporting food to the Asian disaster zone, nor have I heard reports to suggest wide-scale problems relating to food availability in the region, but DFID continues to monitor the situation closely to ensure appropriate coverage in meeting clearly identified needs. DFID is maintaining close contact with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on these issues. Non-governmental organisations have commented that the WFP has done a very good job at short notice in distributing food but are concerned about medium-term implications of distributing large quantities of food. DFID will remain in contact with the WFP on discussions about potential longer-term food aid requirements to ensure these are both appropriate and cost effective.

DFID has provided £3.5 million to the WFP's Emergency and Special Operations for food distributions in Sri Lanka and Indonesia and in support of their regional logistics role. In addition, DFID has provided £600,000 to the Food and Agriculture Organisation and our support to Christian Aid, Help Age International, Save the Children Fund and World Vision each contain food assistance as part of their relief programmes.

Ugandan Refugees

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will estimate the number of (a) internally displaced people in Uganda and (b) refugees from Uganda in neighbouring countries; what assessment his Department has made of the (i) amount and (ii) nature of the humanitarian assistance dedicated to these individuals; how these humanitarian efforts have changed since 1997; and if he will make a statement. [210715]

Hilary Benn: The number of displaced people in Uganda in 1997 was approximately 400,000. Currently, there are 1.6 million internally displaced people. The number of Ugandans living as refugees in neighbouring countries in 1997 was 296,700. Up-to-date figures are not currently available, but are known to be far less. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner in Geneva is working on its detailed 2004 Statistical Report, which should be made available publicly later this year.

It is not possible to provide accurate figures for overall humanitarian assistance to displaced people inUganda in 1997. In 2004 humanitarian assistance for displaced people in Uganda was approximately £81 million, aimed principally at meeting basic needs. Information is not held about the proportion or nature of humanitarian assistance provided to Ugandans living as refugees in neighbouring countries, as the provision of this assistance is not determined by ethnicity.
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