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Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many call centres were run by his Department and its agencies in (a) 200304, (b) 200405 and (c) 200506 to date; and how many and what proportion of calls (i) were handled by an adviser, (ii) were received but abandoned and (iii) received an engaged tone. 
Mr. Thomas: DFID has not operated any call centres in the years specified. While we do not have any calls centres, we do operate a Public Enquiry Point which answers telephone, email and letter inquiries. For the years specified, it has handled the following number of inquiries:
|Number of inquiries||Of which:|
|2005 (as at 14 November)||20,902||7,113|
Hilary Benn: The Commission for Africa was established in February 2004 and finished its work at the end of July 2005. There were three full meetings of the commissioners in May 2004, October 2004 and February 2005.
Hilary Benn: The Commission for Africa was established in February 2004. It was made up of 17 commissioners, nine from Africa, all working in an independent capacity. The Commission for Africa report, 'Our Common Interest' reflects an extensive consultation programme, which included participation from 49 African countries.
Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which countries have been provided with direct budgetary support by his Department; and what the allocation for each country through direct budgetary support has been in each year since 1999. 
Hilary Benn: The countries listed are those that have received Poverty Reduction Budget Support (PRBS) from DFID over the last five years. Amounts shown include general PRBS (i.e. a general contribution to the overall budget) and sector PRBS (i.e. support with a more restricted focus). We do not have centrally collated figures for PRBS payments made prior to this period; to obtain this information for 19992000 would incur a disproportionate cost.
|Macedonia (FYR of)||200001||0|
|Serbia and Montenegro||200001||3,398|
Mr. Thomas: Following the impact of hurricane Stan on Guatemala, DFID is providing support through the non-governmental organisations CARE and Plan International. £172,000 has been provided for their humanitarian response to the disaster. The support, covering a period of three months, includes emergency food, plastic sheeting, other non-food items, water and water treatment.
In addition, the European Community's humanitarian office provided €4 million for Guatemala. This aid is to help meet the most urgent needs of 30,000 affected families in terms of water and sanitation, food security, health, emergency shelter, non food items and information management. The United Kingdom share of this European Commission support is approximately £485,000.
Mr. Thomas: DFID is providing £2 million to the United Nations children's fund, UNICEF, for immediate relief purposes and for the restoration of public services, following flooding due to excess monsoon rains that occurred in many parts of India in July 2005. Approximately 37 per cent. (£740,000) is directed to the State of Maharashtra, of which Mumbai is the capital. A substantial proportion of this is directed to Mumbai municipality and the remainder to districts of the state which were severely flood affected.
DFID funding has been used to provide immediate relief for flood victims, including blankets, oral re-hydration salts and appropriate medicines to combat diarrhoeal diseases resulting from contamination of water supplies, and provision of safe water and sanitary
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facilities and surveillance systems to reduce disease outbreaks. Provision has also been made for post disaster recovery in the slightly longer term (up to six months), including restoration of mother and child health centres, development of water supply and sanitation facilities, including in schools, and strengthening of health services.
It is worth noting that the Government of India has a well developed capacity for responding to natural disasters and rarely requests outside assistance. The request to assist with flood relief in Maharashtra and elsewhere came from UNICEF and we received timely approval from the Indian Government to proceed.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much funding each of the G8 nations has (a) pledged, (b) committed and (c) spent on the relief effort in countries affected by the Indian Ocean tsunami. 
Mr. Thomas: The UK does not keep a record of how much funding other G8 nations have pledged, committed and spent on relief efforts following the Indian Tsunami. However, the Governments of Indonesia, the Maldives, Sri Lanka and Thailand, in co-operation with the United Nations Development Programme, are each developing a 'Development Assistance Database' (DAD) to register tsunami recovery resources and results. It is intended that once fully operational, all of these systems will be accessible online.
The UK has allocated £75 million for the immediate humanitarian relief effort following the tsunami. A total of £68.7 million of this has been committed, while the remainder has been set aside for disaster risk reduction projects.
DFID has allocated £65 million to meet reconstruction needs in the tsunami affected countries. From this allocation, £31 million has been committed to the Multi Donor Trust Fund in Indonesia, of which £6 million has so far been paid out. A further £5 million has been committed for technical assistance in Indonesia to help ensure timely, accountable and equitable provision of reconstruction assistance and rebuilding of livelihoods. A total of £2 million has been committed to Sri Lanka to help speed up implementation of reconstruction programmes and to ensure equitable distribution of assistance, and £1.5 million of this has been allocated to the North East Provincial Council to increase their capacity to deliver services to affected communities. A total of £3 million has been committed to India to provide technical assistance aimed at ensuring effective, transparent and equitable programming of tsunami reconstruction efforts. The use of the balance will depend on evidence of where this funding can be most appropriately used.
Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what proportion of post-tsunami British aid to the Sri Lankan Government has been spent; and if he will make a statement. 
DFID disbursed around £4.2 million for programmes specifically to meet relief needs in Sri Lanka. This was channelled through the United
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Nations and non-governmental organisations such as OXFAM, Save the Children Fund, the Red Cross and CARE. Sri Lanka also benefited from some of the £41.5 million DFID disbursed for regional activities.
In addition, DFID will be providing £1.5 million to strengthen the capacity of the North East Provincial Council to plan and deliver services and assistance in the North East of Sri Lanka, which accounts for 70 per cent. of the area damaged by the tsunamis. We anticipate releasing the first £500,000 shortly. We are considering proposals for a further £500,000 of new support, which will be disbursed over the next year.
For the next 10 years, we will also be providing £41 million of Debt Relief, which will meet 10 per cent. of the cost of Sri Lanka's loan repayments to the International Development Association, the concessional lending arm of the World Bank. This will release Sri Lanka's own funds for tsunami recovery and poverty alleviation programmes. We expect to make the first payment of approximately £3.2 million in December.
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