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3 Feb 2005 : Column 1045W—continued

Debt Relief

Clare Short: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much funding has been provided by the Government under the debt initiative recently announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, broken down into (a) funding provided before the initiative was announced and (b) additional funding planned under the initiative. [213085]

Hilary Benn: Under the new multilateral debt relief initiative, the UK will pay 10 per cent. of the debt service owed to the World Bank and African Development Bank on behalf of eligible countries. The initiative will cover payments from 1 January 2005.

20 countries are currently eligible for the initiative. The cost to the UK for these countries over the next three years is US$161 million and through to 2015 will be US$ 884 million. As more countries progress through the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative, or have Poverty Reduction Support Credit (PRSC) programmes approved, the list of eligible countries will expand. If all of the countries that could potentially qualify for this initiative did, the cost to the UK could rise to US$1,921 million through to 2015.


Mr. Challen: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what level of investment his Department is seeking in (a) energy efficiency and (b) renewable energy from the World Bank Group. [213299]

Mr. Gareth Thomas: As an outcome of the Extractive Industries Review, the World Bank made a commitment in 2004 to increase its annual lending for renewable energy and energy efficiency by an average of 20 per cent. per year, over the five years, to 2010. This is partly aimed at improving their balance of support between support for fossil fuel and renewable energy projects.

DFID welcomes this decision by the World Bank Group as part of the effort towards improving access to sustainable and affordable energy services in developing countries. Existing investments by the bank in renewable energy and energy efficiency are relatively small. DFID is working with the bank to see if a higher level of such investments can be achieved. This includes our participation at an international forum in March 2005, being hosted by the World Bank, on scaling up renewable energy and energy efficiency in developing countries.
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HIV/AIDS (Children)

Mrs. Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps the UK Government are taking to ensure that civil society organisations in developing countries are able to access allocated resources for meeting the needs of orphans and children made vulnerable by HIV and AIDS. [211153]

Mr. Gareth Thomas: DFID fully recognises the key contribution that civil society organisations (CSO) have to play in tackling HIV and AIDS. We are therefore actively working to promote CSO involvement in national AIDS responses. We are, for example, working to find ways to help the flow of resources from national AIDS commissions to NGOs and CSOs. These, including faith-based organisations, have an important role in helping to meet the needs of children affected by AIDS—orphans and vulnerable children—in terms of protection, care and support.

At the Global Partners' Forum on orphans and vulnerable children held in Washington DC in December 2004, I announced how the UK would meet our target of spending at least £150 million over the next three years to meet the needs of orphans and vulnerable children. Most of this will be spent in Africa where the impacts of AIDS on children are most severe. DFID will mainly be providing funds though our country programmes to support national responses. We are however, already providing funds through NGOs to support vulnerable children in Rwanda, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In a number of countries, such as Kenya and Zimbabwe, we are supporting the rapid assessment analysis and action plan process (RAAAP), which has been led by UNICEF. This has resulted in the development of 16 national action plans for orphans and vulnerable children. Effective civil society involvement in their implementation is an important issue for us and we will be working with UNICEF to ensure that civil society organisations are appropriately included in these programmes.

An additional means of ensuring that civil society organisations are appropriately involved in responding to the needs of children affected by AIDS will be provided as we renew our agreements with key UK NGOs such as HelpAge International and Save the Children to include relevant AIDS-related work as a key objective. Out of the 18 partnership agreements we have with UK-based NGOs, 14 have specific objectives on HIV and AIDS. We will also increase our Civil Society Challenge Fund from £10 million to £14 million in 2005 and encourage proposals from NGOs wanting to provide support in this field.

International Financial Institutions

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his policy is on how International Financial Institutions (IFIs) should conduct consultations; what his policy is on which aspects of the (a) Cabinet Office and (b) EU codes on conducting consultations should apply to consultations run by IFIs; and if he will make it Government policy to object to consultations run by IFIs if they do not meet these terms. [213215]

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Hilary Benn: Both DFID and the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) recognise the benefits of consultation. It can improve the design of projects and policies, and increase developing countries' ownership of their own development.

The IFIs have a diverse range of consultation guidelines for different types of policies and projects; DFID believes that this is appropriate. The EU guidelines on consultation also specifically state that

DFID does not believe it is appropriate to impose domestic guidelines on a multilateral organisation. Instead, we work with multilateral organisations to encourage them to make their consultations more transparent and comprehensive. In particular, we encourage IFIs to consult widely with affected parties, allowing an appropriate amount of time both for consultation and feedback. DFID also stresses the importance of ensuring that the consultation is tailored to local needs. In the ongoing negotiations of the 14th replenishment of the International Development Association (IDA), the arm of the World Bank which lends to the world's poorest countries, the UK has been pushing for strengthened documentation of stakeholder feedback from consultations required under the World Bank's safeguard policies.

DFID believes that this approach works. For example, we successfully encouraged the Asian Development Bank to carry out extensive internal and external consultations on its Inspection Function. Consultation documents were posted on the Bank's website for comment; public consultation meetings were held with a wide range of people, including those affected by the project; and consultation workshops were held in 10 of the Bank's member countries. The Bank recognised how valuable this consultation process was, and later held extensive consultations on its public information and disclosure policies.


Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much aid was received by the Palestinian Authority for (a) humanitarian and (b) military purposes from (i) the Government of the United Kingdom and (ii) other sources from the United Kingdom in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. [211762]

Hilary Benn: The information is as follows:

(i) DFID's programme of assistance to the Palestinian Territory includes both developmental and humanitarian aid, to the Palestinian Authority (PA) and through other channels. Assistance to the Palestinian Territory since 1997 is shown in the table. Prior to 2004–05 none of this was provided directly to the PA. In 2004–05 £7 million was provided as direct support to the PA's budget.
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Humanitarian and development aid (£000)

No military aid was given by the UK Government to the PA in the years shown, although the Ministry of Defence has recently posted a military liaison officer to examine future needs. The UK Government also support Palestinians through its share of EC assistance and via the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.

(ii) There are substantial flows from the UK to Palestinians through private and non- governmental organisations. We do not track the exact amounts.

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