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10 Nov 2005 : Column 692W—continued

Microbicide Development Programme

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what plans he has to extend the grant to the Microbicide Development Programme beyond 31December 2006; and what progress has been made on the development of the revised EC programme of action to tackle HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria through external action between 2007 and 2011. [26005]

Hilary Benn: DFID is currently providing a grant of £16 million to 31 September 2006 to the Microbicide Development Programme (MDP) co-ordinated by the Medical Research Councils Clinical Trials Unit and Imperial College. A proposal to allow an extension of the work of the MDP to complete a Phase III trial of the leading candidate microbicide Pro 2000 has been now been agreed with DFID providing £23.8 million of additional funding.

The Programme for Action to tackle HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria through external action between 2007 and 2011 was agreed in May 2005. The Commission is currently working on a roadmap with the objective of translating the commitments made into deliverables. Discussions have been on-going via an EU Health Experts Network Group and it is expected that agreement will be reached next year. Funding for the Programme for Action has yet to be agreed under the new Financial Perspectives.


Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what aid has been allocated to Nigeria to assist with the development of democratic government. [25900]

Hilary Benn: The Department for International Development is committed to assisting Nigeria to develop more effective democratic governance to eliminate poverty and achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Between November 2000 and December 2008 £101.85 million has been allocated to programmes aimed at helping Nigeria to develop the institutions and processes necessary for effective democratic governance. These include a £7 million programme of support to the 2007 Elections and technical assistance of £2.65 million to the Nigerian Parliament. Other support includes assistance to a government-led Public Sector Reform programme, technical assistance to state and local governments and support to civil society to better represent the interests of Nigerians and engage more constructively with government.
Background table of current active programmes:

ProgrammeBegin dateEnd dateAllocation
(£ million)
Support to the 2007 ElectionsMarch 2005March 20087
Support to the National AssemblyApril 2005March 20082.65
Security, Justice and GrowthOctober 2001March 200730
State and Local GovernmentNovember 2000March 200722.8
Public Service ReformApril 2005December 200819
Service Delivery InitiativeNovember 2004June 20077. 5
Support to the Nigerian CensusNovember 2004December 20067.5
Voices: Using Radio Programming to Explore Governance IssuesAugust 2003August 20065.4

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Papua New Guinea

Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the international support available to Papua New Guinea to meet costs incurred in caring for refugees from West Papua. [26217]

Mr. Thomas: International support for West Papuan refugees in Papua New Guinea (PNG) is provided through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Their priorities are to regularise the status of refugees, to strengthen the capacity of the PNG institutions to meet refugees basic needs and to promote self reliance and integration. DFID has undertaken no separate assessment of needs.

Sierra Leone

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the Answer of 26 October 2005, Official Report, column 431–2W, on Sierra Leone, if his Department will retract its planned support for a communications project to support the Sierra Leone National Commission for Privatisation and offer to assist with a public consultation project that gives information about both public and private water sector models; and when his Department expects a decision to be made on whether Guma Valley Water Company will be reformed under a public or private sector model. [25979]

Hilary Benn: The planned support is to assist with public consultation that gives information on all options for reform and assesses the best ways to improve the performance of 24 enterprises including the Guma Valley Water Company. There is currently no presumption as to the final option of reform for the Guma Valley Water Company (GVWC). The National Commission for Privatisation (NCP) has a much wider scope than looking at privatisation alone, which as stated by the NCP, may indeed not be a practical option in the case of GVWC. The NCP intends to consider a range of options including both public and private sector participation. DFlD's assistance is to help ensure good quality public consultation with provision of accurate and balanced information across a range of sectors. This will help towards the overall transparency and accountability of the reform process. The consultation will include local civil society organisations, with a good knowledge of conditions in Freetown.

DFID will not decide on what model will be used to reform the GVWC; that is a matter for the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL). However there is an urgent need to reform and rehabilitate the GVWC, the GoSL lacks the resources to do this alone. The scope and nature of the possible role of the private sector, and the full range of options available to achieve GOSL's objectives, have yet to be evaluated. DFlD's programme of support is intended to ensure the NCP has adequate
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resources to make informed decisions about the reform of the GVWC as well as the other enterprises in its portfolio.

DFID assistance is in direct response to a GoSL request to build capacity of the NCP, and help ensure transparent processes with correct procedures and regulation are put into place. No final decision on the future shape of GVWC would be expected before 2008.

Workers Rights

Anne Snelgrove: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to improve the rights of working people in developing countries; what changes have been made; and if he will make a statement. [26098]

Mr. Thomas: The effective implementation of workers rights can play an important part in the reduction of poverty and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. The Government have current commitments of over £46 million to support activities to improve treatment of workers in developing countries, including the elimination of child labour and trafficking for forced labour. This is primarily channelled through the International Labour Organisation (ILO) but also supports the work of non-governmental organisations, trade unions and business.

There is a long way to go but changes are being achieved. For example the project for the elimination of child labour in Andhra Pradesh India, which DFID funds through the ILO, has reported the near total elimination of child labour in its initial pilot district. This project is now being extended to more districts. Another example is the increased number of companies joining the Ethical Trading Initiative, which DFID has supported since it began. These companies make a commitment to implement a labour code of conduct through their supply chains and to working with trade unions and non-governmental organisations to improve the lives of working people around the world.


Arts Council

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what recent discussions she has had with the Arts Council; and if she will make a statement. [25982]

Mr. Lammy: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State last met Sir Christopher Frayling, Chair of Arts Council England, on 26 May 2005 and will meet him again before the end of the year. I meet Sir Christopher and members of the Arts Council's senior executive team on a more regular basis.
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Justices' Licences

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many applications there were for revocations of justices' licences issued under the Licensing Act 1964 in England and Wales in (a) 1992–95, (b) 1995–98, (c) 1998–2001 and (d) 2001–04; how many of these were (i) successful and (ii) unsuccessful; and if she will make a statement. [24121]

James Purnell: Data for the number of justices' licences revoked are collected every three years and are available for a 12 month period to the 30 June as detailed in the table:
Year to 30 JuneTotal revocations

DCMS Statistical Bulletin: Liquor Licensing: England and Wales, July 2003-June 2004, Table 5.

Information is not available on the number of applications for revocation of justices' licences.

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