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26 Oct 2005 : Column 428W—continued


Ms Keeble: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what monitoring has taken place of funds allocated for HIV/AIDS orphan and vulnerable children in sub-Saharan Africa. [21102]

Mr. Thomas: Monitoring of progress on HIV/AIDS Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) spend in our 16 Public Service Agreement countries in Africa takes place through annual reviews of progress against DFID Country Assistance Plans and the Africa Directors Delivery Plan. Overall progress is reported in the annual Departmental Report. Progress is also tracked through bi-annual monitoring of the UK HIV/AIDS Strategy 'Taking Action' and ad hoc monitoring missions on OVC issues.

Ms Keeble: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will list the organisations that have received funds to provide services for HIV/AIDS orphan and vulnerable children in sub-Saharan Africa in 2005–06. [21150]

Mr. Thomas: DFID provides most of its aid directly to the Governments of developing countries, either through non-earmarked Poverty Reduction Budgetary Support (PRBS) or earmarked sector support. Given that many other organisations in those countries will subsequently receive funds, it is not possible to provide a comprehensive list of those NGOs providing services to HIV/AIDS orphans and vulnerable children.

Under appropriate circumstances, DFID also funds NGOs directly. NGOs receiving such support include ActionAid, Terre des Hommes, Medecins Sans Frontieres, Save the Children UK, Christian Aid and CARE.

To complement our country level support, DFID also channels funds through multilateral bodies such as UNICEF. In South Africa for example we are supporting UNICEF to implement South Africa's National Action Plan for children affected by AIDS.


Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the UK Government's total financial contribution to the peace-keeping operation in Liberia has been. [21065]

Hilary Benn: The UK Government's total contribution to the Liberia peacekeeping operation (UNMIL) has been £68,854,123 to the end of September 2005. By financial year, the figures are as follows:
2005–06 (half year)

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In addition to these FCO contributions, DFID's total support to Liberia since the signing of the Accra Peace Accord in 2003 has been £18.5 million. £3,967,000 was provided to the UN Trust Fund for disarmament, demobilisation, rehabilitation and re-integration, which forms a critical part of the peacekeeping operation. A further £1.4 million financed UNICEF for Education and Re-integration programmes for Children Associated with the Fighting Forces. In addition £900,000 supported the provision of humanitarian air services, support to the UN Joint Logistical Centre, emergency trucking and communication equipment. The remainder has supported voluntary relief agencies in meeting basic humanitarian needs. Additional assistance is being planned.

Millennium Development Goals

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make a statement on (a) global progress and (b) work being done by his Department towards reaching the Millennium Development Goal of halving the number of people with no access to clean water by 2015. [20615]

Mr. Thomas: From the latest figures made available by the Joint Monitoring Programme, implemented by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the world is on track to meet the drinking water target of halving, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe water. It should be added however that there are major regional differences in progress with sub-Saharan Africa being off track to achieve the water target by 2015.

DFID's actions to meet the challenge of achieving the Millennium Development Goals for water supply, sanitation and water resource management are set out in the Water action Plan published in March 2004. With sub-Saharan Africa making insufficient progress towards achievement of the target for access to safe water, the Secretary of State for International Development announced on World Water Day, 22 March, a doubling of DFID's aid to Africa for water and an increase in the engagement of DFID's country offices with their partner country Governments on this issue. The Water Action Plan and updates on progress against the actions set out and on the commitments made on World Water Day are available on DFID's website

Sierra Leone

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much money is planned to be spent on public relations initiatives in the Department's technical assistance contract in Sierra Leone. [20616]

Hilary Benn: DFID does not have a specific technical assistance contract in Sierra Leone as such. Technical Assistance is an integral part of most of what DFID is doing in the country to strengthen the government's
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ability to deliver services to its citizens. As a result of the long years of war in the 1990s when many educated people fled the country, limited capacity is a major development constraint.

There is a communications element of the planned project providing support to the Sierra Leone National Commission for Privatisation. The project design includes a provision of £50,000 (some 2.5 per cent. of the total project cost) for communications as one of the aims of the project is to provide good quality public information and increase the transparency and accountability of the reform process. DFID agrees with local NGOs that there is a real need for good quality public information in Sierra Leone. The public needs to be kept accurately informed and consulted at an early stage in looking at different options in the reform process.

The project design also provides for a communications adviser to help develop an overall strategy. However, DFID has made it clear that we will not fund any campaign to promote privatisation.


Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what is his latest assessment of the humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe. [21824]

Hilary Benn: Credible independent estimates suggest that between three and five million people will face serious food shortages over the coming months. This is mainly as a result of bad governance by the Government of Zimbabwe, combined with erratic rains and the impact of HIV/AIDS which are also affecting neighbouring countries. The World Food Programme, with support from DFID and other donors, is presently providing food aid for one million vulnerable Zimbabweans, mainly children. Operations will be scaled up as hunger becomes more widespread in the months before the next harvest.

In addition, the Government of Zimbabwe's forced clearance of unauthorised dwellings earlier this year, Operation Murambatsvina (Clean Up"), displaced or destroyed the livelihoods of 700,000 people, aggravating poverty and food shortages in both urban and rural areas. The Zimbabwe Government's own efforts to mitigate the suffering caused by their mass evictions have been limited, and in some instances, the Government has obstructed the wider humanitarian effort, for example by refusing to accept the provision of tents and other temporary shelters for those without shelter. Despite these difficulties, a range of UN and non-governmental agencies are operating relief programmes reaching 40,000 affected households, including those affected by HIV and AIDS, with supplies of food, blankets, medical care and other essential items.

DFID has provided over £100 million in humanitarian support to Zimbabwe since the onset of the food crisis in September 2001. All funding is channelled through UN agencies and NGOs, who ensure that assistance reaches those who need it most.
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Big Lottery Fund

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will list the projects that have unsuccessfully applied for grants from the Big Lottery Fund in the past 12 months; and for what reasons each application was turned down. [21083]

Mr. Caborn: The information requested is not readily available to me. It will require a degree of work to collate and I expect that the subsequent response is longer than Hansard would normally publish. I have therefore asked the chief executive of the Fund to write to the right hon. Member and I will place copies of his response in the Libraries of both Houses.

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