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Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his latest estimate is of unallocated departmental spending in (a) 200506, (b) 200607, and (c) 200708; and if he will make a statement. 
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment his Department has made of the (a) economic and (b) social opportunities afforded to developing countries by electronic barter and bilateral exchange mechanisms; and if he will make a statement. 
Hilary Benn: DFID is aware of the international increase in electronic barter, and electronic trade exchanges. E-barter and e-payments are private sector initiatives, and international and local businesses will pursue economic opportunities in developing countries as they arise. DFID's activities in international trade policy, and capacity building, have not so far focused on electronic barter, or bilateral exchange mechanisms of this nature. DFID's trade strategy is being finalised at present, but there have been no requests from stakeholders in counterpart governments to include e-barter issues.
DFID's concern on electronic exchanges, including the movement of funds, relate to the access of the poor and unbanked to electronic money and payment mechanisms. Access to electronic payment mechanisms is limited to those with access to bank accounts and credit cards in many cases, which currently excludes the majority of the world's poor. DFID's current focus on banking the unbanked" is consistent with preparing the way for the poor to benefit from electronic payment mechanisms.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment his Department has made of the value to the (a) rural and (b) environmental work force gained through the participants of the Intermediate Technology Development Group project run by the Engineers Without Borders UK in Sri Lanka; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Gareth Thomas:
DFID is aware of the good work undertaken by Engineers without Borders UK and their international network of associate organisations. Their placements of engineering students in developing countries and related small scale research projects have had a positive impact on peoples' lives. The universities and companies that support the scheme and students who volunteer are to be congratulated. In Sri Lanka however EWB has not approached DFID for finance for any of their programmes and we have therefore undertaken no assessment of their work there.
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Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) how much (a) financial assistance, (b) logistical assistance and (c) assistance in kind has been provided to Engineers Without Borders UK by his Department for the programme in Bario with the Organisation for Sustainable Engineering in South East Asian Nations since its inception; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what assessment his Department has undertaken of the (a) economic, (b) social and (c) humanitarian impact of the Organisation for Sustainable Engineering in the South East Asian Nations project undertaken by Engineers Without Borders UK in Bario; and if he will make a statement. 
Hilary Benn: DFID is aware of the good work undertaken by Engineers without Borders UK and their international network of associate organisations. EWB have made a positive impact upon peoples lives through the placement of engineering students in developing countries and by supporting related small-scale research projects. The universities and companies that support the scheme and students who volunteer are to be congratulated. However, Malaysia is a relatively wealthy country and does not receive any support from DFID. We have therefore provided no funding for EWB nor undertaken any assessment of their work in Bario.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his policy is in respect of the publication (a) on the departmental website and (b) by placing copies in the Library of (i) all or (ii) a selection of the information disclosed in response to Freedom of Information requests since January. 
Hilary Benn: It is DFID's policy that, where information released in response to a Freedom of Information (FOI request) is of wider public interest, it will also be published on the departmental website. DFID has no policy of placing copies of FOI disclosures in the Library.
Guidance on Publication Schemes, issued by the Department for Constitutional Affairs in July 2002, recommended that where information is disclosed to an individual in response to a request under the Freedom of Information Act, Departments and NDPBs should consider whether the information disclosed is of general interest and include released information in the Publication Scheme where appropriate.
DFID carried out an equal pay audit in 2003 for staff below the Senior Civil Service. No significant gaps were found. A summary of the review will be placed in the Libraries of the House shortly. The document will be entitled Equal Pay Audit, Department for International Development, April 2003".
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Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much funding his Department has set aside to contribute to Haiti's local and national elections in October and November; and if he will make a statement. 
Hilary Benn: The UK is supporting the rehabilitation of Haiti through our substantial contributions to the multilateral funds of the United Nations and the World Bank. Specifically we will be contributing to the election process in Haiti through an EU contribution of 12.5 million euros (£8.625 million 1 ) earmarked for this purpose. The UK's share of this amount is 12.7 per cent. or approximately £1.1 million.
Also, through DFID's small grants scheme in Haiti we are supporting a project with £20,000 for election preparation/electoral process awareness in the north west of Haiti. This is being done in cooperation with the UK non-governmental organisation CARE International. This initiative builds on a previous grant of £250,000 from the civil society challenge fund that supported civic education on citizenship and civil society responsibilities.
Ms Keeble: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what priority his Department is giving to HIV/AIDS orphans and vulnerable children in developing countries in preparation for the UK presidency of the G8. 
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) what steps the Government are taking to ensure that his Department's field offices are able to track the spending of the £150 million allocated to meeting the needs of HIV/AIDS orphans and vulnerable children; 
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(2) what indicators will be used to monitor the spending of the £150 million allocated to meeting the needs of HIV/AIDS orphans and vulnerable children; and when such monitoring will take place. 
Mr. Gareth Thomas: From 1 January 2005 DFID has introduced a new input sector code for Social protection for orphans and vulnerable children" to enable DFID staff to properly track and monitor the £150 million commitment. Activities to be captured under this code include:
Legislation, institutional building, special programmes for orphans, street children, children vulnerable to HIV and AIDS and other vulnerable children, cash transfers to vulnerable families, exemption from school/health centre fees, food security and livelihoods, combating child labour.
Ms Keeble: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps will be taken by the Government to ensure that his Department's field offices in countries with large numbers of HIV/AIDS orphans and vulnerable children help to increase the capacity of Government services in those countries to provide support and protection for such children. 
Mr. Gareth Thomas: The UK is committed to spending at least £150 million over the next three years on our response to the orphans and vulnerable children crisis. £44 million will go through UNICEF, £85 million through DFID country programmes in Africa, £5 million in Asia and £2 million on scientific research. At least a further £14 million will be programmed as needs emerge.
Through its country programmes, DFID supports many governments to advance their national OVC plans through the health and education sectors, social protection programmes and working with civil society. To date, 15 sub-Saharan African countries have drawn up national OVC action plans.
Ms Keeble: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to ensure that civil society organisations in developing countries are able to access resources for meeting the needs of orphans and other children made vulnerable by HIV and AIDS. 
Mr. Gareth Thomas: We are fully committed to supporting the work of civil society organisations in addressing the AIDS pandemic. Indeed, much of the support to be funded by our OVC financing commitment will be implemented in partnership with both local and international CSOs. Our support via UNICEF will also feature CSO partnerships at country level.
A further specific means of ensuring that CSOs are appropriately involved in responding to the needs of children affected by AIDS is through our agreements with key UK organisations such as HelpAge International and Save the Children, which include AIDS work as a key objective. We are increasing our Civil Society Challenge Fund from £10 million to £14 million this year and actively encourage proposals from NGOs wanting to provide support where it is needed.
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