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Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what (a) proportion and (b) amount of his Department's resource budget was spent on counter-terrorism measures in (i) Africa, (ii)Afghanistan, (iii) Pakistan, (iv) the Philippines, (v) the remaining South and East Asia and Pacific countries and (vi) all other countries in each year since 2001–02. [3643]

Hilary Benn: DFID resources are not spent on direct counter-terrorism measures. Under the International Development Act (2002), development assistance must be used for the purpose of furthering sustainable development in countries outside of the UK or improving the welfare of the population of such countries.

However, DFID's work on poverty reduction indirectly benefits global security. Terrorist leaders can exploit the issue of poverty as a means of mobilising popular support and legitimising their actions. Many of the structural factors that increase the risk of terrorism also matter for development: unmet political and economic aspirations, lack of jobs for skilled labour, weak states and poor governance. DFID support to poverty reduction, good governance, social inclusion and education in many poor countries helps to reduce the risk of terrorism.

DFID has no bilateral programme in the Philippines.


Glenda Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what additional support the UK will offer the African Union to ensure safe delivery of humanitarian aid in Darfur. [2395]

Hilary Benn: I refer my hon. Friend to the ministerial statement I issued earlier today. The UK has significantly increased its support to the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS), with commitments now totalling almost £32 million. This will help enable AMIS to fulfill its mandate to: ensure people in Darfur live in more peaceful and secure conditions; monitor and report on alleged violations of the ceasefire; and contribute to a secure environment for the delivery of humanitarian relief.


Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what percentages of households in Iraq have access to (a) clean water and (b) electricity. [2539]

Hilary Benn: The most recent reliable source of data on living standards in Iraq is the Iraq living Conditions Survey 2004" conducted by the Iraqi Central Office for Statistics and Information Technology in April and May 2004. The following information is drawn from this survey which can be found at

Access to clean water in Iraq varies significantly between urban and rural areas. In urban areas, 66 per cent. of households have reliable, safe drinking water; 33 per cent. have access to safe water but the supply is unreliable; and 1 per cent. of urban households are receiving unsafe drinking water. In rural areas, 43 per
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cent. of Iraqi households have reliable access to safe drinking water, 22 per cent. have access to safe drinking water but the supply is unreliable, and 34 per cent. have access only to unsafe drinking water.

Almost all Iraqi households are connected to an electricity network, with little variance between urban and rural areas. However, only 15 per cent. of households report their electricity supply to be reliable: 85 per cent. of households experienced low voltage supply or a supply of less than 12 hours per day. 31 per cent. of households use a private generator to improve their access to electricity.

DFID has committed over £70 million to infrastructure programmes in southern Iraq which are helping to improve water and electricity supplies for more than 5 million people. DFID is providing advisers to work with the Ministry of Electricity in Baghdad on developing a national energy strategy. Water and electricity projects are also being financed by other donors, including the USA, Japan, the United Nations and the World Bank, as well as from Iraq's own budget.

Ivory Coast

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development in what ways the Government are working with the Government of the Ivory Coast to tackle its debt. [2947]

Hilary Benn: The UK has cancelled 100 per cent. of aid loans to the Co(r)te D'Ivoire under Retrospective Terms Adjustment (RTA). To date, this amounts to £2,562,000. Co(r)te D'Ivoire's outstanding balance of aid loans owed to the UK amounts to £862,000, which will be cancelled (under RTA) as they fall due.

The UK actively supports the progress of eligible countries through the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative, for example by supporting development of their debt management capacity under the HIPC Capacity Building Project. Since 1997–98, the UK has written off approximately £16.2 million of Co(r)te D'Ivoire's debt under Paris Club agreements. Co(r)te D'Ivoire's outstanding balance to the Export Credit Guarantee Department (ECGD) currently stands at £18.9 million. Once the Co(r)te D'Ivoire reaches Decision Point, it will begin to receive interim relief on this debt, and would receive 100 per cent. relief from UK at Completion Point.

Co(r)te D'Ivoire's outstanding balance to the Commonwealth Development Corporation currently stands at just under £13,000,000. This would be suspended once Co(r)te D'Ivoire reaches Decision Point, and cancelled at Completion Point.

Due to the civil conflict in Co(r)te D'Ivoire the country is currently off-track on the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) programme, which has meant that progress towards meeting the HIPC Decision Point conditions has been delayed.

The United Kingdom is working closely with the international community in support of a durable political settlement in the Co(r)te d'Ivoire. During 2004–05, DFID also provided £1.55 million in humanitarian
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assistance through international agencies and non-governmental organisations working there. DFID is continuing to monitor the humanitarian situation and is planning to provide £2 million in humanitarian assistance in 2005–06.


Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps he has taken to reduce Malawi's dependency on the tobacco crop. [3759]

Hilary Benn: I refer my hon. Friend to the responses I gave to the hon. Member for Moray (Angus Robertson) on 21 February 2005, Official Report, column 388W.


Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what representations the Government have made to the Nigerian Government on corruption; and if he will make a statement. [2939]

Hilary Benn: The need for serious action against corruption has been a central feature of the UK's discussion with the Nigerian Government.

President Obasanjo has personally spearheaded a campaign to tackle corruption and is showing resolve in tackling the problems, but he faces significant challenges. There are strong vested interests working against him. We have commended him for his action and in particular for the establishment of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, which was responsible for the recent arrest of the Inspector General of Police, and for the investigations leading to the dismissal of the Senate President and Education Minister. Nigeria is also implementing the extractive industries transparency initiative.

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps the Government are taking to assist in raising living standards in Nigeria. [2943]

Hilary Benn: Nigeria is the biggest country in Africa in terms of population, and one of the poorest. It is also the least aided in terms of development assistance per capita. It has appalling human development indicators, reflecting decades of mismanagement and corruption by military dictatorships. The administration of President Obasanjo is now making progress and has developed a good poverty reduction strategy, the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS). The UK has doubled the size of our programme from £35 million in 2003–04 to £70 million this year. We plan to increase it further to £100 million, reflecting the progress being made by the federal Government in starting to tackle poverty and in tackling corruption. The UK has also been supporting the case at for debt relief for Nigeria.

Overseas Aid

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the (a) transparency and (b) accountability of his Department's aid programme to the developed countries. [3645]

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Hilary Benn: DFID's programme is aimed at helping developing countries achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Both DFID and our partner governments must be accountable for the way we use UK public resources to pursue this aim. We must be fully transparent about the way resources are spent; and we must be accountable for results both to the UK Parliament and public, and to the governments and citizens of our partner countries.

To ensure transparency of its policies and plans, DFID publishes details of its work in our Annual Departmental Report, and in a wide range of other documents openly available on our website

To ensure our accountability for delivering results, DFID has a clear public service agreement (PSA), which assesses the contribution made by DFID to achieving the Millennium Development Goals. DFID reports twice a year on progress against the PSA.

To ensure transparency and accountability in the way our resources are spent in partner countries, DFID applies robust programme and financial management, and audit systems, for resources we administer directly. Where DFID provides resources for partner Governments or non-government agencies to use through their own systems, we conduct thorough risk assessments of the robustness of these systems, and work with partners to strengthen these systems where necessary. All DFID projects and programmes are subject to audit—either by partner Government audit systems, or through independent audit. DFID's overall expenditure is subject to audit by the UK National Audit Office.

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