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Coca Production

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assistance his Department has given to facilitate sustainable alternatives to coca production in the Andes region. [40591]

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Hilary Benn: The most recent bilateral project supported by DFID on coca production in the Andes region was in the Lower Huallaga Valley of Peru, whichaimed to promote economic and institutional development and increase rural incomes in order to reduce the illegal cultivation of coca. This six year project with a commitment of £3.2 million ended in December 2004. Assistance in the Andes region is now part of DFID's Regional Assistance Plan for Latin America, working closely with International Finance Institutions (particularly the World Bank and Inter American Development Bank) to improve the poverty impact of their programmes in the region.

Programmes to develop sustainable alternatives to coca production are an important element of the European Union's assistance to the region, which DFID supports through its 18 per cent. contribution. The EU has Country Assistance Strategies with each Andean region country that are consistent with EU policies and those of country governments. The fight against drugs takes a special place in the EU's relationship with the Andean region, with a unique EU-Andean region High Level Specialised Dialogue on Drugs. The EU has welcomed the recent Comprehensive Andean Strategy on Alternative Development.


Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the total staffing level is of his Department's office in Congo; and what the expected level is for 2006–07. [39925]

Hilary Benn: The DFID office in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) currently has a complement of 33 permanent members of staff. Staff numbers are due to increase to 35 during 2006.

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what support has been given to the rehabilitation of child soldiers in Congo; and if he will make a statement. [39928]

Hilary Benn: In April 2002 DFID, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Ministry of Defence (MOD) agreed to use the Africa Conflict Prevention Pooled Fund to channel US$25 million over 5 years, to the World Bank-led regional Multi-country Demobilisation and Reintegration Programme (MDRP). This multi-country initiative finances the Disarmament, Demobilisation and Re-integration (DDR) programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) among others in the region. The MDRP funds four special sub-projects in the DRC that focus specifically on the demobilisation and reintegration of child soldiers, both boys and girls, into their home communities.

The most recent review of the MDRP in the DRC, states that as of September 2005, 14,478 child soldiers had been released from armed forces and entrusted to child protection agencies; some 7,794 had been reunified with their families, 5,895 had been reintegrated in the education system, and 4,001 were receiving vocational training.


Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will list departmental
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projects conducted by consultants in each year since 2000; what the cost was in each case; and what the total cost of employing consultants was in each year. [29065]

Hilary Benn: I refer the hon. Member for Cheltenham to the answer given on 21 October 2004, Official Report, column 850W, which lists DFID consultancy contracts for the Development Programme to 31 March 2004. Ihave arranged for the document entitled 'Consultancy Contracts issued from 1 April 2004 to 31 March 2005' to be placed in the Libraries of the House. This does not include lower-value contracts issued by DFID's overseas offices, of which there is no consolidated central record. It would incur a disproportionate cost to produce a list of those contracts.

The total cost of consultants in each year is shown in the following table.
Total cost of consultants (£ million)

Statistics on International Development—Date: 3 November 2005.


John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) whether the World Health Organisation intends to conduct a mortality survey in Darfur; [39703]

(2) what representations have been made within (a) the EU and (b) the UN in support of a mortality survey in Darfur; [39702]

(3) what steps have been taken by his Department to conduct a comprehensive mortality survey in Darfur. [39701]

Hilary Benn: The UN released the report of its second mortality survey in Darfur in October 2005. The overall findings, which cover the period from November 2004 to May 2005, are that mortality rates are below crisis levels, but still elevated. The only exception is in South Darfur, where under-five mortality was above crisis levels. When compared to the previous survey in August 2004, it can be concluded that the international humanitarian response has had a significant impact in saving lives. However the situation remains precarious.

Estimates of deaths in Darfur vary from 70,000 to 400,000. Accurate figures are not available. The two mortality surveys, which the World Health Organisation (WHO) co-ordinated, only provide a snapshot of the situation and we are unlikely ever to get a full picture of deaths from this conflict. The undertaking of mortality surveys has proved difficult in Darfur due to the security situation. While not comprehensive, these WHO surveys do provide a useful understanding of the situation and how it is changing.

DFID contributed to the funding of this last survey as these offer a means to gauge the effectiveness of the relief operation and, specifically, to improve the healthcare response. The UN has indicated it would be
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desirable to do further surveys in Darfur in the future. DFID will continue to support the UN to undertake these.

Departmental Expenditure

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much was spent on advertising by (a) his Department, (b) each (i) non-departmental public body and (ii) Executive agency for which his Department is responsible and (c) each independent statutory body, organisation and body financially sponsored by his Department in each year since May 1997. [39088]

Hilary Benn: DFID does not hold a separate advertising budget. Spend on advertising, including VAT, for the five calendar years 2000–04 is as follows:

Expenditure figures prior to 2000 are not available and figures for 2005 have still to be finalised. DFID does not directly fund advertising by non-departmental public bodies, Executive agencies or independent statutory bodies.

Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much his Department spent on bottled water in 2004–05. [40331]

Hilary Benn: DFID spent £2,432 on bottled water in the UK during 2004–05. This sum relates to, and includes the rental cost of, the provision of water coolers. Information on bottled water supplied at meetings, or similar expenditure in overseas offices, is not held centrally and cannot be obtained without incurring a disproportionate cost.

Departmental Staff

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many and what percentage of the jobs in (a) his Department and (b) each (i) non-departmental public body, (ii) executive agency and (iii) other public body for which his Department is responsible are located in (A) Scotland, (B) England, excluding Greater London, (C) Greater London, (D) Wales, (E) Northern Ireland and (F)overseas. [39871]

Hilary Benn: The figures regarding job locations are published in Civil Service Statistics and this information is available at the following address on the Cabinet Office Statistics website: service_statistics/index.asp.

Within these figures some 453 staff, around a quarter of DFID's home based civil service work force, are currently serving in our offices overseas.
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In addition to the above numbers, DFID also employs 917 staff appointed in country overseas.

There are no other non-departmental public bodies, executive agencies or other public bodies for which DFID is responsible.

Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many civil servants inhis Department worked from home for at least one day a week in the last year for which figures are available. [40287]

Hilary Benn: The Department for International Development (DFID) does not hold centrally comprehensive data on all staff who work from home for at least one day a week and this information could be obtained only at a disproportionate cost.

DFID is committed to providing a working environment which values our work force. One of the ways in which we do this is to make it possible for all staff to balance the demands of work and their commitments outside the office. Flexible working in various forms, including access to home working on a regular or occasional basis, has existed in DFID for some years.

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