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Gender Equality (Africa)

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) what proportion of the funds pledged during the Gleneagles Summit will be used to promote gender equality in Africa; [13082]

(2) what agreements were reached at the G8 Summit at Gleneagles to ensure that the Millennium Development Goal (a) to eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education and (b) that all boys and girls complete a full course of primary schooling are reached in 2015; and what assessment the UK had made of the likelihood of meeting that target before the G8 Summit. [13085]

Hilary Benn: At the G8 Summit at Gleneagles, the G8 Heads agreed a package of comprehensive support to help accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), particularly in Africa which is falling behind. In advance of the Summit, the United Nations published a comprehensive review of prospects for achieving the MDGs called 'Investing in Development', which informed UK policy.

As part of the Gleneagles agreement, the G8 leaders agreed to support African Governments' commitment to ensure that, by 2015, all children have access to and
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complete free and compulsory education of good quality. We also called on African countries to implement the African Charter on Human and People's Rights and its protocols, in order to encourage respect for the rights of ethnic minorities, women and children.

The UK firmly believes, as the G8 Heads recognised, that it should be up to developing countries to decide how best to use resources on a country-by-country basis to achieve the MDGs. The additional resources should therefore not be allocated to specific sectors. We will support developing countries to build on their existing national strategies and processes such as the Poverty Reduction Strategy process to develop more ambitious plans for achieving the MDGs, including with increased resources. In some limited cases, commitments have been made for specific interventions at the global level. This is generally for reasons of international coordination or advocacy. Support is still for implementation of nationally defined policies. In the case of the Education for All Fast Track Initiative, resources can be channelled through the Initiative or provided directly to support national education strategies. At Gleneagles, the G8 Heads agreed to ensure that this Initiative has the resources necessary for countries to implement their education strategies (estimated to cost around US$2.3 billion extra per year).

Gross Domestic Product

Peter Law: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what percentage of gross domestic product was allocated to aid to developing countries in each of the last 30 years. [12281]

Hilary Benn: The internationally recognised statistic is the oda/GNI ratio, ie official development assistance (oda) as a percentage of a donor's gross national income (GNI). The ratio for the UK over the past 30 years is set out as follows:
UK oda/GNI ratio


(58) provisional
DAC Online Database

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Health Care (Developing Countries)

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) what the Government's policy is on charging user fees for healthcare in developing countries; [7674]

(2) what discussions he has had with the World Bank on charging user fees for healthcare in developing countries. [7676]

Hilary Benn: I refer the hon. Member for Banbury to my response given to the hon. Member for St. Ives (Andrew George) on 30 June 2005, Official Report, columns 1679–680W.

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether he expects user fees for healthcare in developing countries to be addressed at the G8 summit. [7675]

Hilary Benn: The G8 summit discussed financing of healthcare in Africa. The Africa communique" said people should have

DFID is encouraging the removal of charges at the point of need in basic healthcare. We successfully sought, significantly increased resources for health and other priorities at the summit. However we recognise that the question of user fees is one for partner countries and that there are different approaches to financing healthcare.


Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of British emergency aid in the aftermath of the Iranian earthquake in Bam. [9270]

Mr. Thomas: The UK committed £3.7 million in response to humanitarian needs in the wake of the Bam earthquake of 26 December 2003, including the UK's share of the European community contribution. DFID humanitarian advisors conducted two monitoring missions to assess the effectiveness of this support. The British embassy, Tehran has also been involved in monitoring the response. On the basis of this monitoring, we believe our assistance was well targeted, effective and appreciated by the beneficiaries.
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DFID focussed its immediate support on life saving action through deployed search and rescue teams, the provision of tents and shelter materials and the hiring of aircraft for delivery of relief items and in the medium-term to sectors where it could have the greatest impact, including urban water supply and sanitation, primary health care and agricultural irrigation and livestock replenishment.

DFID support to Bam's agricultural sector was provided through the United Nations Development Programme for its work to repair wells and irrigation channels and for Action Against Hunger's work to provide livelihoods for vulnerable families. DFID assistance contributed to a successful 2004 date harvest of higher quality and quantity than normal and also to the provision of livelihoods to 1,200 families, including providing goats to several hundred families. DFID's funds through the United Nations Development Programme were almost completely spent on providing water supply for agriculture in and around Bam. This covered 10 per cent. of the agricultural area of Bam, and in that area prevented the date groves from drying up at a crucial point in the agricultural cycle. The United Nations Development Programme estimated that there would otherwise have been an 80 per cent. smaller date harvest.

In the health sector, the humanitarian effort prevented outbreaks of disease despite the threat following earthquakes. DFID played an important part in this, channelling its support through the World Health Organisation (WHO) for its activities in primary health care, and also through the United Nations Children Fund for its work in water and sanitation. There were delays by WHO in kitting out 10 urban health centres because of slower than expected progress in building the health centres, which were late in starting because of the need to wait for the necessary planning permission.

A planned commitment of £450,000 to the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) was not disbursed, as the IFRC subsequently advised us that our support was no longer needed as their appeal was sufficiently funded by other contributions they received.


Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will list Bills sponsored by his Department in each Session since 1997. [10890]

Hilary Benn: DFID has sponsored two Bills since 1997. They were enacted as the Commonwealth Development Corporation Act 1999 and the International Development Act 2002.


Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what sums have been allocated to fight malaria in (a) Kenya, (b) Burundi, (c) Ethiopia, (d) Malawi and (e) Eritrea, with particular reference to (i) children and (ii) pregnant women in each of the last three years. [11598]

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Hilary Benn: DFID supports malaria control through bilateral programmes in a number of countries. The following table shows the total funding DFID has provided for projects for malaria and other communicable diseases in Kenya, Burundi, Ethiopia, Malawi and Eritrea.

In addition, DFID has spent a further £13 million in these five countries on health projects which may have an impact on malaria. DFID is increasingly funding the broader health plans of developing countries. Such projects will build Governments' capacity to make the best use of their resources to diagnose and treat all main causes of illness.

Financial year

DFID is also a major donor to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM). We have pledged more than £259 million through to 2008. Approximately 31 per cent. of GFATM funds go to malaria control, including projects in all five of these countries.

Further information on total funding in these countries for malaria control can be obtained from the World Malaria Report 2005:

DFID supports countries to focus on groups most vulnerable to the impact of malaria—specifically pregnant women and children under five. For example in Kenya, Malawi and Ethiopia, DFID has supported the provision of highly subsidised or free insecticide treated mosquito nets to these groups.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what budget has been allocated to fund the provision of long-lasting insecticide-treated nets in Africa in 2005–06; and for how many people he estimates this will provide protection. [11599]

Hilary Benn: DFID provides finance for malaria control, including long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLINs), through bilateral country programmes, support to multilateral organisations such as the World Bank and European Commission, and contributions to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. DFID also works with other donors to support national malaria programmes. When funds are pooled in these ways, it is not possible to calculate the exact number of LLINs distributed as a direct result of DFID support.

However, we estimate that in 2005–06, DFID bilateral expenditure on African mosquito net programmes will be £40 million, which will see eight to
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10 million nets (a mixture of insecticide treated and long lasting insecticide-treated nets) distributed, protecting 16 to 20 million people.

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