Previous Section Index Home Page

1 Feb 2005 : Column 796W—continued


Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the effects of UK aid on infrastructure development in Kenya during 2004. [211813]

Hilary Benn: DFID made no direct investments in infrastructure in Kenya during 2004 and therefore made no formal assessment of the effects of its aid on infrastructure development during that period.

Many other donor agencies including the World Bank, the European Commission, some UN agencies, the Germans, Swedes, Japanese, French and international Non-Government Organisations contribute significantly to infrastructure development directly in Kenya. As a result, we have focused our support to other critical sectors such as health and education where we assessed our funding would have more impact. DFID has therefore gradually reduced its support to direct investment in infrastructure over the past few years and nearly all our remaining stand-alone projects in roads and water/sanitation were closed down during 2002 and 2003. DFID Kenya maintains direct support to Oxfam and Action Aid who continue to provide water and sanitation services to marginalised communities in Kenya.


Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment his Department has made of the (a) economic and (b) social value of the introduction of microenterprises aimed at providing mechanised peanut butter processing and corn grinding, with particular reference to Sanankoroni and Mountougoula in Mali; and if he will make a statement. [212162]

1 Feb 2005 : Column 797W

Mr. Gareth Thomas: DFID has no bilateral programme in Mali and therefore have not assessed the impact of agricultural microenterprises there.

Rapid Assesment Action Planning

Mrs. Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how his Department plans to be involved in the second round of UNICEF-led Rapid Assessment Analysis Action Planning plans in 2005. [211151]

Hilary Benn: Through our country programmes, DFID is engaged with the first round of UNICEF-led Rapid Assessment, Analysis and Action Plan (RAAAP) processes in Africa and will be providing support for the implementation of the costed national action plans in selected countries. DFID is currently in consultation with UNICEF headquarters and regional offices on plans for the further country assessments and action planning. The details of these processes have yet to be finalised, but we expect the support we announced at the Global Partners' Forum in December 2004 for UNICEF on orphans and vulnerable children to contribute to these.

The Global Partners' Forum meeting held at the World Bank in December 2004 demonstrated that the Framework is widely accepted, even if not all agencies have officially endorsed it. The key issue now is ensuring it is put into practice. A good start has been made in sub-Saharan Africa through the rapid assessment; analysis and action plan processes (RAAAP). This has resulted in the development of 16 national action plans for orphans and vulnerable children based on the framework. For some of these, we are considering providing support for implementation.

World Trade Organisation

Clare Short: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what estimate he has made of the likely trade gains to least developed countries under the Doha Development Agenda; and if he will make a statement. [213086]

Hilary Benn: Despite the difficulties of estimating the effects of trade reform, World Bank figures indicate that eliminating all barriers to trade in goods would generate an extra US$250 billion—$620 billion in global income, up to half of which would go to developing countries. They further estimate that a pro-poor outcome to the Doha Development Round of negotiations could reduce the number of people living on less than $2 a day by 144 million, with sub-Saharan Africa seeing the greatest reduction—over 60 million.

We need to keep the Doha Development Agenda as ambitious as possible in order to realise these gains. The EU, along with several other World Trade Organisation (WTO) members, already provides duty free and quota free access for least developed countries under the Everything But Arms" initiative; DFID would like to see other WTO members extend similar market access to these countries.

It is also important to tackle all distortions in world agricultural trade—tariffs, quotas and unfair forms of export competition. Progress in this area will determine
1 Feb 2005 : Column 798W
the extent to which poor people, like the cotton producers of Benin, Chad, Burkina Faso and Mali will benefit from the outcome of the Doha Round.

However, World Bank research also emphasises that market access is necessary but not sufficient for the least developed countries to maximise the potential trade gains from multilateral trade liberalisation under the Doha Round.

We must also acknowledge and tackle the many supply side constraints faced by the poorest countries. This will require a combination of domestic reforms, technical assistance and capacity building, to enable their producers to take better advantage of new market opportunities abroad, for example, through meeting the stringent product standards that their exports often face.


Community Interest Companies

Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what research her Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on social enterprises since the Community Interest Company title was introduced under the Companies (Audit Investigations and Community Enterprise) Act 2004; and if she will make a statement. [211798]

Jacqui Smith: No research on social enterprises has been commissioned since CICs gained Royal Assent in October 2004.

The Social Enterprise Unit, DTI, together with English Regional Development Agencies and the devolved administrations, has been undertaking a project to establish baseline data on the nature and extent of social enterprises across the UK. This project is one of our commitments in Social Enterprise: a strategy for success". Thousands of enterprises have taken part in short telephone surveys, which were completed in December 2004. The data is currently being analysed and results are expected to be published in spring 2005.

In addition, the Social Enterprise Unit, in consultation with the devolved administrations and other Government Departments, is in the process of commissioning a review of the Government's strategy for social enterprise to help inform future action in this area.

Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what progress has been made since the creation of Community Interest Companies under the Companies (Audit Investigations and Community Enterprise) Act 2004 further to support the establishment of social enterprises; and if she will make a statement. [211820]

Jacqui Smith: The substantive provisions of the Companies (Audit, Investigations and Community Enterprise) Act 2004 relating to community interest companies will come into force on the 1 July 2005. Mr.John Hanlon has been appointed as the independent regulator of community interest companies and will take up office on 1 April. My Department is working with him,
1 Feb 2005 : Column 799W
his staff and Companies House to ensure applications to form a community interest company can be made from July 2005 onwards. My Department is also considering responses to the consultation on draft community interest company regulations which closed in January 2005. A final draft of the regulations will be laid before both Houses soon.

My Department has published two fact sheets providing information on community interest companies and the role of the regulator. A third fact sheet providing further information is in preparation. More than 30 individuals and organisations have registered their intention to form or convert to community interest companies since the publication of the first fact sheet in December 2004. The regulator and his office will issue more detailed guidance before July 2005.

More broadly, the Social Enterprise Unit within the Small Business Service continues to lead Government activities to support the establishment and growth of social enterprises, within the framework laid out in the 2002 document 'Social enterprise: a strategy for success'


Mr. Arbuthnot: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, for what amount she has budgeted to cover liability for costs (a) of her Department and (b) of those whom her Department has agreed to pay all or part of their costs in relation to the action for judicial review brought against her Department by Corner House in respect of Export Credits Guarantee Department forms. [210619]

Mr. Alexander [pursuant to the reply, 26 January 2005, Official Report, c. 398W]: Unfortunately a number of words were omitted from my original answer. Following is the full text.

The current estimate for what ECGD will pay its external solicitors and counsel in relation to the action for judicial review brought by Corner House is £64,710. The costs of The Corner House, which ECGD will pay under the terms of the High Court settlement of 13 January 2004, have yet to be agreed.

Next Section Index Home Page