The Minister for Higher Education and Lifelong Learning (Bill Rammell): I am announcing today the terms of reference for a review of higher education student finance delivery, which will be conducted by my Department:
To review the arrangements for the delivery of Government financial support to higher education students, and its collection from borrowers, in England and recommend options for improvement. The review should be completed by November 2005.
The Minister of State, Department of Health (Jane Kennedy):
Following extensive discussion and consultation with healthcare professionals, patients and their representatives, and the oxygen service industry, I am announcing today that four companies have won
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contracts, following competitive tender, to provide the home oxygen service in 10 national health service home oxygen service regions in England. The four companies are Air Products, the British Oxygen Company, Allied Oxycare/Medigas and Linde. This is a five-year contract, with an option to renew for a further two years. The overall annual cost of the new service is some £49 million.
There are other improvements offering better choice and access to better services through a range of technically advanced oxygen equipment that will meet the needs of individual patients, with expert advice and support on its use on a 24 hour, seven day a week basis. The new service will start later this year.
The Secretary of State for International Development (Hilary Benn): Today I am laying a Command Paper before Parliament detailing the Government's response to the report by the International Development Committee titled, "Darfur, Sudan: The responsibility to protect".
The Secretary of State for International Development (Hilary Benn): In response to the revised Humanitarian Appeal launched by the Government of Ethiopia on 4 May 2005, the Department for International Development (DFID) will make a contribution of £5 million to assist the poor in life threatening situations. This is in addition to £1 million contributed through UNICEF in response to the initial December 2004 appeal.
This is also in addition to the UK's commitment to provide £70 million over the next three years to Ethiopia's Productive Safety Nets programme, designed to provide predictable support for the estimated 5 million people in regular need of emergency assistance, and to tackle the underlying problems of food insecurity in Ethiopia.