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14 Dec 2005 : Column 2050W—continued

Central Asia

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his Department's policy is on support to local non-governmental organisations in Central Asia; and if he will make a statement. [36858]

Mr. Thomas: DFID's policy in Central Asia is set out in our Regional Assistance Plan for Central Asia, South Caucasus and Moldova (2004 to 2007). DFID aims to support civil society in Central Asia, including local non-governmental organisations (NGOs), to improve the accountability and responsiveness of Governments to their citizens. This includes their participation in the drafting, implementation and monitoring of nationally-led poverty reduction policy processes.

In the Kyrgyz Republic, DFID's programme includes work with local NGOs in the areas of public financial management, service delivery and sustainable livelihoods, and rural water and sanitation schemes. In Tajikistan, our support to NGOs is largely through community development and livelihoods programmes, and third party arbitration courts. We are also working with local NGOs through a regional HIV/ AIDS programme in Central Asia. This programme has just begun in Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and will run to 2008.


Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many (a) letters from hon. Members, (b) letters from members of the public and (c) parliamentary questions from (i) hon. Members and (ii) Lords were dealt with by his Department in each year since 1995; in respect of the percentage his Department took (A) more than one month and (B) more than three months to provide a substantive answer; and if he will make a statement. [37395]

Mr. Thomas: The Cabinet Office, on an annual basis, publishes a report to Parliament on the performance of Departments in replying to Members and Peers correspondence. The report for 2004 was published on 6 April 2005, Official Report, columns 137–40ws. Reports for earlier years are available in the Library of the House.
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DFID's public inquiry point has received the following correspondence from members of the public over the years in question:
Letters to PEPCampaign letters to PEPTOs copied to PEPTotal

(20) January to November.

Information on turnaround times is not held centrally and would incur a disproportionate cost to obtain.
14 Dec 2005 : Column 2052W

DFID's parliamentary unit endeavours to reply to all parliamentary questions within parliamentary deadlines where possible. The information requested is not held centrally and would also incur a disproportionate cost to obtain.

Departmental Estate

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what (a) building and (b) refurbishment projects are planned by his Department in (i) 2005–06 and (ii) 2006–07; and what the expected costs are of each project. [37394]

Mr. Thomas: The currently planned building and refurbishment projects are as follows:

Planned spend
2005–062006–07Total planned spend
Building projects
New office—Nigeria (Kano)475,0001.2 million2.6 million
New office—Pakistan1.63 million340,0001.97 million
New office—Democratic Republic of Congo750,000700,0001.8 million
New office—Ethiopia1.7 million900,0003.8 million
New office—Mozambique340,0002 million2.8 million
New office—Uganda70,0001.1 million2.7 million
New office—Afghanistan300,000100,0000.4 million
New office—Zimbabwe100,0001.3 million3.3 million
New office—JerusalemNil900,0001.7 million
New office—Bangladesh(21)(21)5.0 million
Refurbishment projects
Sudan office300,0001.4 million1.9 million
Sierra Leone office1 million800,0002.6 million
Abercrombie House, East Kilbride740,000740,000

(21) To be confirmed, still at planning stage.

Global Fund

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will increase the UK contributions to the Global Fund to the level of the contribution of the French Government. [36929]

Mr. Thomas: DFID has no further plans at the moment to increase the UK's contribution to the Global Fund. Prior to the Replenishment Conference in September, the Global Fund calculated that on the basis of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the UK would have to contribute US$320 million for 2006 and 2007—equivalent to 4.5 per cent. of the Global Fund' s resource needs for the period 1 . At the conference we increased our pledge to exceed our GDP fair share"—to US$344 million for the replenishment period.

The Global Fund is just one instrument to channel funds for AIDS, TB and malaria. According to the Joint United Nations Programme on AIDS (UNAIDS) the UK was the second largest donor, of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) country-members, providing direct bilateral support for HIV and AIDS to recipient countries in 2004. Of US$2.7 billion provided by DAC members in 2004 the UK contributed 20.5 per cent., second only to the US at 49.6 per cent. 2 In comparison the French Government provided 0.9 per cent.

The UK Government is committed to spending at least £1.5 billion over the next three years in AIDS related work, including our pledge to the Global Fund. Most of our spending on AIDS will go direct to developing countries, through Government, non governmental organisations or the private sector.

With regards to malaria and TB, DFID is a board member of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBM). We have contributed £48.5 million to the RBM since 1999. We have pledged £7 million to the Stop TB Partnership through to 2008.

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the outcome of the Global Fund Replenishment Conference held in London in September. [37495]

Mr. Thomas: I refer the hon. Member for St. Ives to the response given to my hon. Friend the Member for
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Manchester, Central (Tony Lloyd) on 17 October 2005, Official Report, column 1294W and the written ministerial statement I made to Parliament on 26 October.


Dr. Francis: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assistance the Government has provided to the Maldives since the tsunami. [37614]

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Mr. Thomas: DFID provided emergency support to the Maldives immediately after the tsunami, totalling £1,664,000. This has been given to several UN agencies and also for the provision of transportation material (see following table for details). We have also encouraged the provision of further assistance for longer-term reconstruction through the European Commission.

UK emergency humanitarian assistance to the Maldives has comprised:

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)Emergency waste management400,000
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)Restoration of livelihoods500,000
Landing craft and engineering equipment including airlift550,000
The World Health Organisation (WHO)Specialist disaster preparedness and epidemiological staff105,000
Air transport costs for Scottish water 40 MT water and collapsible water cans81,000
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)Water and sanitation engineer seconded to UNICEF for three months28,000
UNICEFA proportion of £4 million to UNICEF for water and sanitation in Indonesia, India, Maldives and Sri Lanka.

Dr. Francis: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what support the Government has provided to the people of the Maldives to promote democratic governance; and if he will make a statement. [37615]

Mr. Thomas: The Maldives is the richest country in South Asia and the Department for International Development does not maintain a regular programme there. Our support focuses upon poorer countries where we can have a greater impact upon poverty.

Her Majesty's Government is however, supporting and encouraging democratic and political reform in the Maldives. The British high commissioner in Colombo is accredited to the Maldives and maintains a regular dialogue with the Government there. Most recently, on 12 December, in his capacity as the local EU presidency, he led a delegation of European Union Ambassadors and Heads of Mission to Male to discuss democratic reform with President Gayoom. We will continue to promote and support the process of democratic reform in the Maldives, bilaterally and with EU partners.

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