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12 Dec 2005 : Column 1628W—continued


Colin Burgon: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much money the UK Government are providing in 2005–06 to (a) the European Commission, (b) the Inter-America Development Bank and (c) the World Bank for projects in Colombia; and if he will list the projects concerned. [32666]

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Mr. Thomas: Through its contribution of 18 per cent. to the European Commission's (EC) budget, the UK Government provided £5.4 million to Colombia over the three years 2001 to 2003 (the last years for which data is available). The EC supports the search for peace and the targeting of the roots and causes of the conflict. The following four sectors are priorities for EC co-operation with Colombia: social/economic development and poverty reduction; alternative livelihoods for cocoa farmers; public sector administrative and judicial reform; and the support and promotion of human rights. Specific areas of work include: initiatives to promote peace; resettlement of people uprooted by the conflict,
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support to make export sectors more efficient; reinforcement of the state of law and democracy; the protection of the environment and conservation of natural resources; landmines clearance; and science and technology research.

Colombia does not benefit from the concessional lending by the World Bank (WB) and Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) that is funded by donors such as the UK, given its relatively high income. It does, however, borrow from the WB and IDB on near commercial terms. The UK, therefore, contributes indirectly as a shareholder of these organisations. A table of current projects supported by IDB and WB are as follows.
Inter-American Development Bank: Colombia: approved projects

Approval dateProject name
May 2005Strengthening the Expanded Programme on Immunization
December 2004Rural Low-Income Housing Programme
December 2004Private Participation and Concessions in Infrastructure
December 2004Corporate Social Responsibility Practices in SMEs
September 2004Promotion of Youth Entrepreneurship
September 2004Sector Programme for Public Utilities
August 2004Support Cluster Competitiveness
June 2004Public Administration Reform Programme
June 2004Support to The National Environmental System (SINA II)
January 2004Modernization of Health Service Networks
October 2003Urban Social Housing Programme
October 2003Health Care and Social Security Reform Programme
April 2003Programme to Strengthen the Office of the Attorney-General
March 2003Social Emergency Programme
December 2002Highway Development and Institutional Strengthening for Cundinamarca
August 2002Use of Information and Communication Technologies
May 2002Promotion of Co-operative Ventures Between Firms
March 2002Social Infrastructure and Community Management for Peace
February 2002Strengthening Capital Markets
February 2002Business Linkages in the Garment Industry
January 2002Institutional Strengthening for the District of Bogota
December 2001Social Reform Programme
August 2001Sector Programme for Sub national Fiscal Reform
April 2001Promoting Foreign Investment in Colombian Enterprises
December 2000Environmental Implementation for Cleaner Technologies
December 2000Exporter Information on the Internet
November 2000Isabella Grape Agribusiness Project
November 2000Social Safety Net Programme
October 2000Simplification Programme for the Business Sector
June 2000Marketing Company for Micro enterprise Owners
March 2000Prefeasibility Studies for the Azufral Geothermal
March 2000Strengthening Offices of the Controller and Auditor General

World Bank: Colombia: active projects

Approval dateProject nameValue (US$ million)
1 November 2005Social Safety Net Project86.4
27 October 20051st Business Productivity and Efficiency Project250
27 October 2005Sustainable Development Inv Project7
28 June 2005Agricultural Transition30
10 May 2005Disaster Vulnerability Reduction First Phase260
22 March 2005Water and Sanitation Sector Support Project70
10 June 2004Integrated Mass Transit Systems250
10 June 2004Peace and Development Project (1st Phase)30
19 August 2003CUNDIMARCA Education Quality Improvement15
13 March 2003Bogota Urban Services Project100
23 December 2002Higher Education—Improving Access200
22 January 2002(9)Productive Partnerships Support Project32
8 November 2001Conflict Resolution Improvement5
25 October 2001Water Sector Reform Assistance40
22 March 2001Public Financial Management Project (02)35.47
8 March 2001Policy Based Guarantee220.3
11 May 2000Community Works and Employment Project100
2 May 2000Sierra Nevada Sustainable Development5
11 April 2000Rural Education Project20
20 July 1999Cartagena Water Supply, Sewerage and Environmental Management Project85


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Colin Burgon: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which British non-governmental organisations in Colombia were given financial assistance by the UK Government in the last two years; and how much each received. [32667]

Mr. Thomas: Three projects are currently funded through DFID's Civil Society Challenge Fund:

DFID also approved an additional £7 million a year from 2005 for six international NGOs working in Latin America and the Caribbean. Of the six selected, CAFOD, Christian Aid, and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) are active in Colombia and will benefit from these additional funds.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is currently funding two projects by Save the Children in Colombia worth £92,000 over the next two years. These projects aim to tackle child sexual abuse through strengthening local institutions and raising awareness through training of journalists in child rights.

Commission for Africa

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what timetable he has set to deliver the recommendations of the Commission for Africa. [30231]

Hilary Benn: I refer the hon. Member to the responseI gave to the hon. Member for South Down (Mr. McGrady) on 28 November 2005, Official Report, columns 54–55W.

Departmental Staff

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what plans he has to relocate staff in his Department and related agencies into London and the South East. [31759]

Mr. Thomas: DFID has no plans to relocate staff into London or the South East. Our relocation plans are in keeping with Government policy with 85 posts being relocated to our office in East Kilbride over the periods 2004–05 and 2005–06.

Early Retirement

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many of his Department's employees have taken early retirement in each year since 1997. [34046]

Mr. Thomas: The number of DFID employees, who have taken early retirement in each year since 1997, are shown in the table.
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Number of employees

(10)To date

The figures include those who have retired voluntarilywith an actuarially reduced pension, those who have retired with benefits under the civil service compensation scheme and those who have retired on grounds of ill-health.


Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what plans he has to take forward the Africa Commission's work on Ethiopia; what account he will take in his plans of (a) the participation of President Meles Zenawi, (b) the killing of demonstrators in Ethiopia by Ethiopian security forces and (c) the detention without charge of demonstrators; what plans he has to promote good governance in Ethiopia; and if he will make a statement. [34519]

Hilary Benn: The Commission for Africa has now completed its work, having successfully produced recommendations on the changes needed to reduce poverty. Prime Minister Meles contributed to the Commission's report, but it is up to individual countries to take these recommendations forward.

UK Ministers, and our ambassador in Ethiopia, have registered our concerns with Prime Minister Meles about the situation in Ethiopia, which resulted in deaths and injuries, and about the issue of detainees. We have urged the Government to launch an investigation into the violence.

As a result of these events the UK, in close co-ordination with other donors, has announced a review of our development programme. We have made it clear that principles of good governance must be central to our future development partnership.

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