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Aid Conditionality

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what operational guidelines for departmental staff have been introduced to give effect to the policy set out in the publication Partnerships for Poverty Reduction: Rethinking Conditionality"; what changes to working practices within his Department have followed the publication of this document; and if he will make a statement. [15719]

Hilary Benn: Operational guidance is being prepared,based on DFID country teams' experience of implementing the policy since its publication in March. We will consult with civil society organisations and other donors in finalising the guidance.

The policy is re-inforcing DFID's efforts to build effective partnerships for development by supporting countries to develop their own poverty reduction plans, ensuring accountability for aid, and by making aid more predictable so that countries can rely on it in planning their budgets. The policy has confirmed that DFID will not make aid conditional on specific policy decisions by partner governments (including in sensitive economic areas such as privatisation or trade liberalisation). The policy is also ensuring that new programme agreements between DFID and partner countries are clear about theshared commitments on which our aid is based, the circumstances in which aid can be withdrawn, the impact we expect from our aid, and the way in which progress will be measured.
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Asian Tsunami

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much (a) financial, (b) material, (c) personnel and (d) other aid the UK Government (i) pledged, (ii) committed and (iii) has delivered to tsunami-affected countries since December 2004. [15348]

Hilary Benn: To date, nearly £67 million out of the £75 million allocated by DFID to meet immediate humanitarian relief needs following the tsunami, has been programmed through United Nations agencies, the Red Cross Movement and non-governmental organisations and DFID direct action. This spending can be broken down into:
Red Cross Movement3,500,000
UN (some 40 organizations)31,105,057
DFID Indonesia Delegated Budget8,355,489
DFID Donations in Kind10,972,138
DFID Funded DEC Flights2,083,126
DFID Staff Secondments489,000
DFID Monitoring and Evaluation165,000
DFID operations project support costs407,000

So far, £60 million of this has been disbursed. A Further detailed breakdown of this spending can be obtained in the document entitled A breakdown of DFID's Immediate Relief Response to the Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami" which has been placed in the Libraries of the House. The balance of the £67 million will be drawn down by the recipient agencies as needed. The remaining £7 million out of the £75 million has been earmarked for disaster risk reduction initiatives in affected countries.

DFID has also allocated £65 million to meet reconstruction needs. From this allocation, £36 million has been committed to Indonesia, of which £6 million has so far been paid out to the Multi Donor Trust Fund. A further £2 million has been committed to Sri Lanka and £3 million to India to provide technical assistance aimed at ensuring effective, transparent and equitable programming of tsunami reconstruction efforts. The remaining £24 million of the £65 million allocation for reconstruction has not yet been programmed.


Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) how much (a) financial, (b) material, (c) personnel and (d) other aid the UK Government (i) pledged, (ii) committed and (iii) delivered to Bangladesh after the floods in 1998; [15559]

(2) how much (a) financial, (b) material, (c) personnel and (d) other aid the UK Government (i) pledged, (ii) committed and (iii) delivered to Bangladesh after the floods of 2004. [15346]

Mr. Thomas: Following the Bangladesh floods in 1998, DFID pledged £21 million. DFID committed a total of £22 million, which was delivered through non-government organisations, United Nation agencies and the Government of Bangladesh. We did not collate
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aggregate information on material or personnel within these allocations. However DFID did provide some vehicles for emergency medical care.

In 2004 DFID pledged £29 million following the floods. This consisted of an initial commitment of £10 million, and an additional commitment of £19 million to the UN consolidated appeal and rehabilitation in August and October 2004. DFID's support was delivered through UN agencies in accordance with DFID Bangladesh disaster response operating procedures (DROP-2004), direct to the Government of Bangladesh Roads and Highways Department and the Technical Co-operation programme. DFID funded relief was implemented through our partners. Relief provided from the initial £10 million consisted of food (rice, dhal, salt and oil) and non-food—medicines, corrugated iron sheets, water purification, mosquito nets, latrine repairs, transport and distribution costs for example. The £19 million consisted of medical supplies to maternal and child centres and clinics, restoration and access to safe water and sanitation facilities, shelter, cash for work to rebuild livelihoods, food and emergency repairs to damaged roads, bridges and culverts. A breakdown of these allocations is not available.


Mr. David Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to help provide humanitarian assistance to the internally displaced people of eastern Burma. [16521]

Mr. Thomas: The UK is the largest EU donor to Burma, with a budget of £7.4 million for 2005–06. Our country plan focuses on four key objectives: health, basic education, food security and increased prospects for successful transition to a democratic society.

DFID is helping those who are displaced in Eastern Burma by funding organisations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross (£500,000), and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime in the Wa region (£170,000 to improve food security and help poor people find alternative livelihoods to opium production). DFID is also providing £1.8 million to support Burmese refugees in Thailand. The UK also provides support through the European Commission for the repatriation and re-integration of refugees, and support to displaced populations.

Reaching displaced people in Eastern Burma is a challenge because international agencies have limited access to internally displaced people living in sensitive or conflict-affected areas. The International Committee of the Red Cross has gradually increased its access within Eastern Burma over the last three years. The UK continues to work closely with international organisations such as the UN to encourage the Burmese authorities to agree to increased access for development agencies.

Central America

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much (a) financial, (b) material, (c) personnel and (d) other aid the UK
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Government (i) pledged, (ii) committed and (iii) delivered to Central American nations after Hurricane Mitch in 1998. [15558]

Mr. Thomas: The table shows how much financial aid DFID delivered to Central American nations from 1998 to 2001 and how much of this was specifically for disaster response relating to Hurricane Mitch:
£ million

Total funds
Funds related to Hurricane Mitch

DFID did not provide any material or personnel support.


Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his Department's total spending on management consultants has been in each of the last three years. [13151]

Hilary Benn: Expenditure on consultancy services was as follows:

Cost (£ million)
Percentage of
DFID budget

Figures for 2004–05 are not yet available. We do not keep a central record of the spending on management consultants in particular and this information cannot be provided except by incurring a disproportionate cost. Contracts are awarded in open competition according to the ED Procurement Regulations, based on best value for money.

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many consultants have been employed by his Department to investigate reproductive health issues in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available; at what cost; if he will place in the Library a copy of the reports produced by such consultants; and if he will make a statement. [14143]

Hilary Benn: DFID takes a very broad approach to sexual and reproductive health. This includes work on maternal, newborn and child health and on HIV and AIDS. DFID information systems provide data on total costs of this work, as shown in the table, without distinguishing between individual consultants and major delivery programmes contracted to consultancy firms through open competition.

A full list of the contracts can be found in the document entitled 'DFID, Reproductive Health—Contracts issued 1999–2005' of which I have arranged for copies to be deposited in the Libraries of the House. The consultancies range from individual contracts, to the funding of multi year programmes where national and international consultants work on long-term
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programme management and implementation in developing countries. One example of this is the Nepal Safe Motherhood Project. This complex project helped the Government of Nepal to establish and develop their National Safe Motherhood Programme through financial and technical assistance to the Ministry of Health. This programme, which ran from 1997 to 2004 at a cost of £5.8 million has improved women's access to life saving maternal health services, e.g. emergency obstetric care.

Reports are produced through these consultancies serving a number of purposes. Some are produced specifically for country governments, some for DFID monitoring requirements and others relate to specific technical issues. They are not held centrally and to provide them would incur disproportionate cost. However, the DFID website provides up-to-date links on key issues,

Financial year
Number of ConsultantsCurrent Value of Issued Contracts
1996–97103 million
1997–98930.3 million
1998–99139.3 million
2000–01175.9 million
2001–021327 million
2002–031520.5 million
2003–04144.4 million
2004–05860.9 million

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