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Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make a statement on his Department's progress towards meeting its target for 200506 of having 90 per cent. of its budget spent in low income countries. 
Hilary Benn: DFID has made steady progress towards its 200506 target to increase the proportion of DFID's bilateral programme going to low income countries to 90 per cent. by 200506. In 200304 we achieved 74 per cent. and in 200405, was achieved 83 per cent.
In addition, since 2001, approximately £1.7 million of DFID's contribution to the Global Fund to fight HIV, TB and Malaria was spent in Swaziland. For the same period DFID also disbursed approximately £2 million that will benefit Swaziland through regional programmes.
Hilary Benn: DFID has set aside £71.6 million for its programme to Uganda in 200506. This assistance is focused on support for the implementation of Uganda's Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP). It includes an allocation of £50 million for Poverty Reduction Budget Support. DFID is also supporting projects which will help to improve governance and the capacity of the Government to implement their budget effectively. These include support for public service reform, public financial management, improved revenue mobilisation, anti-corruption institutions and Uganda's transition to multi-party politics. DFID has separate projects to support service provision in the key areas of health, HIV/AIDS, and water and sanitation. We are helping civil society and the private sector to contribute to the objectives of the PEAP. Substantial resources are set aside for humanitarian assistance and conflict resolution in northern Uganda.
Hilary Benn: At Gleneagles, G8 leaders welcomed the intention of donors to explore improving multilateral funding mechanisms such as the central emergency revolving fund. I continue to hold discussions with G8 development ministers about this.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much funding each of the G8 nations have (a) pledged, (b) committed and (c) spent on the UN central emergency revolving fund. 
Hilary Benn: The UK has pledged $70 million (£40 million) to a revised and expanded central emergency revolving fund (CERF), this will increase further by $1 for every $3 donated by others once the total has reached $210 million, up to a maximum UK contribution of $100 million. The UN Office for the co-ordination of humanitarian affairs is preparing a detailed report on the accountability, governance, and management arrangements of the revised CERF for the UN General Assembly that will inform its consideration of the proposal in November. If approved, the revised CERF should be open for contributions in January 2006. So far no other G8 nation has pledged funds.
It remains our intention to deploy the Headquarters Group of the ARRC to command ISAF for nine months from May 2006. Additionally, from next April we plan to move our forces from the north of Afghanistan to a base in Helmand province and establish a British-led Provincial Reconstruction Team, plus supporting forces, at Lashkar Gah as part of NATO expansion across southern Afghanistan.
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Mr. Ingram: The only bulk supplier providing more than one million rounds per annum of small arms ammunition to the MOD is BAE Systems Land Systems, which operates in the United Kingdom and is a British company.
Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what guidance he has issued on the co-operation to be offered by (a) British army units and (b) British military police posted abroad to civilian police forces in the conduct of investigations into deaths of army personnel. 
Mr. Ingram: The Royal Military Police Special Investigation Branch (RMP(SIB)) normally conduct all investigations into serious criminal offences committed by or against British Service personnel including incidents resulting in the death of Army personnel abroad. The SIB is a fully professional investigative agency conforming to Home Office standards and required by statute to follow civilian police force procedures. Jurisdiction related to investigations into deaths of Army personnel overseas is dependent on the various host nations' arrangements but is principally carried out by the RMP(SIB) who also act as the Coroner's Officer abroad. Investigative guidance to members of the Royal Military Police is contained within the Provost Manual.
Literacy and numeracy assessments in the armed services are conducted in either the recruiting process or at an early stage of initial training. Additionally, all Ministry of Defence personnel have the
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opportunity to undertake an assessment of their literacy and numeracy abilities at an electronic learning centre. We recognise that literacy and numeracy weaknesses exist across the Department and we are addressing these as a high priority.
The Army is currently assisting DfES to develop its new literacy and numeracy initial assessment tools and when this becomes available all armed services will adopt this for use in the recruiting stage. The tool will also be used more widely to support the Department's intention to establish a baseline of its literacy and numeracy abilities across the whole of the armed services between April 2006 and March 2007. We are examining in parallel, the potential use of the new DfES initial assessment tool for new entrants to the MOD civil service.
|Sickness absence rate(4)|
|Sickness absence rate(9)|
Mr. Touhig: Literacy and numeracy training to armed service personnel is provided through a combination of internal tutors and by arrangements with colleges of further education and private providers. The majority of this training is delivered on Ministry of Defence sites during working hours.
Literacy and numeracy training is also embedded in the apprenticeship and advanced apprenticeship programmes offered in a wide range of trades across the armed services and the MOD civil service. In the year to 31 March 2005, some 6,500 personnel completed these schemes.
An internal network of over 140 electronic learning centres provide opportunities for all MOD personnel to pursue literacy and numeracy courses and sit on-line tests. In addition, MOD civil servants may be given time off to attend courses at a local college during working hours.
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