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Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what proportion of the aid and debt relief for developing countries in the Communique" following the G8 summit at Gleneagles is targeted at people living in extreme poverty. 
Hilary Benn: Agreement was reached on increasing the volume of official development assistance (ODA) provided by the G8 and other donors by US$50 billion a year by 2010. ODA is defined as aid flows to the poorest countries, as set out in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) list of ODA recipients. Under the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative, relief will be delivered to heavily indebted poor countries (HIPCs) that have demonstrated their commitment to poverty reduction. The additional aid and debt relief will be used to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals that aim to halve the proportion of people living in extreme poverty by 2010.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many people he estimates will be living in extreme poverty in developing countries by 2015 by (a) country and (b) continent. 
DFID does not produce any estimates of the number of people living in extreme poverty. The World Bank produces annual estimates at regional and global level of the numbers of people living in extreme poverty. These estimates are based on the number of people living on less than $1 per day. They do not publish country level estimates, except for China. The latest estimates were published in Global Economic Prospects 2006, table 1.3, as follows.
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|East Asia and the Pacific||472||214||14|
|Rest of East Asia and the Pacific||97||34||2|
|Europe and Central Asia||2||10||4|
|Latin America and the Caribbean||49||42||29|
|Middle East and North Africa||6||5||3|
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the number of people lifted out of extreme poverty as a result of pro-poor funding by his Department in developing countries in each of the past 10 years for which records are available, broken down by (a) country and (b) continent. 
Hilary Benn: DFID has not produced such an assessment. Globally over 200 million people have been lifted out of poverty between 1990 and 2002 1 . DFID funding has directly contributed to this through funding to developing country governments, civil society, the private sector as well as to multilateral institutions, including the World Bank, United Nations agencies, and the European Commission.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what funds his Department has provided for pro-poor programmes in developing countries in each of the past 10 years for which records are available, broken down by (a) country and (b) continent. 
Hilary Benn: I have arranged to place copies of a document entitled Expenditure by the Department for International Development on Development Assistance to Developing Countries from 1995/96 to 2004/05", setting out the bilateral expenditure by DFID on Development Assistance to developing countries over the past 10 years in the Libraries of the House. DFID also provides funding to-multilateral institutions which will benefit these developing countries.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many meetings of the EU (a) Committee on implementation of humanitarian aid operations and (b) Joint Committee (EEC-Co(r)te d'Ivoire) have taken place during the UK Presidency of the EU; who presided over each meeting; what other UK representatives were present; what provision was made for representation of the devolved governments; and if he will make a statement. 
The Humanitarian Aid Committee (MAC) operates independently of the Presidency. It is convened and chaired by the Commission and is constituted for member states to assist the Commission with implementation of Council Regulation No 1257/96 of 20 June 1996 concerning humanitarian aid. The EC's humanitarian aid programme provides assistance, relief and protection to victims of natural disasters and man-made crises in third countries, as well as preparedness
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for risks of natural disasters. It approves annual allocations (global plans") to countries suffering chronic humanitarian crises, as well as emergency response to disasters. The HAG meets on average, once a month, excluding August. In addition to this, each Presidency usually holds an informal MAC to discuss issues of substance in more detail.
The Humanitarian Aid Committee has met four times during the UK Presidency, in September, October, November and December. The UK was represented by officials from DFID's Conflict and Humanitarian Affairs Department. These meetings were chaired by the Commission, either the Director General or Deputy Director of DG the EC Humanitarian Office (ECHO). In October it also met in informal session in London and was then chaired jointly by the ECHO Director General and by DFID's Director of UN Conflict and Humanitarian Division.
The UK Government take into account the views and interests of the devolved administrations when formulating the UK's policy position on all EU and international issues which touch upon devolved matters. Provision for attendance at EU meetings by Ministers and officials of the devolved administrations is set out in paragraphs 4.12- 15 of the Concordat on Co-ordination of European Union Policy Issues (part of the Memorandum of Understanding between devolved Ministers and the UK Government). Ministers from the devolved administrations have attended and do attend Councils, by agreement with the lead Whitehall Minister, of which copies are available on the internetand can be found at: http://www.dca.gov.uk/constitution/devolution/pubs/odpm_dev_600629.pdf
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many meetings of the (a) European Development Fund Committee, (b) Advisory Committee on the special system of assistance to traditional ACP suppliers of bananas, (c) Committee on co-financing operations with European non-governmental organisations in fields of interest to developing countries and (d) Committee on food security and food aid have taken place during the UK presidency of the EU; who presided over each meeting; why other UK representatives were present; what provisions were made for representation of the devolved Governments; and if he will make a statement. 
The European Development Fund Committee met four times during the UK presidency, in July, September, October and November 2005. The Advisory Committee on the special system of assistance to traditional African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP) suppliers of bananas met once, in November 2005. All these meetings were chaired by senior officials from the European Commission, with attendance by officials from the Department for International Development and the United Kingdom Permanent Representation to the European Union.
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As a matter of law, all foreign policy issues and relations with the European Union are non-devolved and are the responsibility of the Parliament and Government of the United Kingdom as a member state. It is the responsibility of the lead Whitehall Department formally to notify the devolved administrations at official level of any new EU obligation which concerns devolved matters. The UK Government takes into account the views and interests of the devolved administrations when formulating the UK's policy position on all EU and international issues which touch upon devolved matters.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what proportion of (a) departmental expenditure and (b) departmental funding for research was allocated to the development of GM crops in each of the last three years. 
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the impact of GM crops on (a) least developed countries and (b) middle income countries. 
Hilary Benn: Our approach to GM crops and their potential impact on developing countries very seriously. Our approach is based on the principle that the health of people and of the environment is of primary concern. We recognise that GM technology in itself will not solve the problem of world hunger. Our assessment of the impact of GM crops is that they can however be used safely and effectively to promote development and reduce poverty, if managed responsibly and applied to those crops on which the poor rely.
Recognising that there are both potential benefits and risks associated with GM crops, developing countries should be able to make their own informed choices about whether to adopt GM technologies. To this end, DFID has helped fund research into Genetically Modified crops and their potential use in developing countries. The proportion of DFID's research spent on GM crops research has been 0.37 per cent. in 200304 and 0.35 per cent. in 200405 and is predicted to be 0.23 per cent. for 200506. This research has not involved assessing either (a) least developed countries or (b) middle income countries as a whole; projects have looked at more specific issues.
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DFID also worked with the Department for the Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFRA) and other Government Departments to support international negotiations to establish the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, under the Convention on Biological Diversity. The Protocol will work to ensure that countries are provided with the information necessary to make informed decisions before agreeing to the import of genetically modified organisms. It will also facilitate the exchange of information on living modified organisms even if there is a lack of scientific certainty on the extent of such potential adverse effects.
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