Previous Section Index Home Page

17 Jan 2006 : Column 1217W—continued

Democracy Projects

Mr. MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will list the criteria used by his Department to assess the effectiveness of projects to promote democracy. [41951]

Mr. Thomas: DFID's aim is poverty reduction, as measured by the achievement of the millennium development goals (MDGs), and the eventual elimination of poverty.

Within this framework, the criteria used by DFID to assess the effectiveness of projects in support of better governance are defined by the scope of each individual project. Examples of criteria of effectiveness for governance projects might include the number of eligible citizens able to register and vote at elections, the election of representatives of disadvantaged or marginalised communities to decision-making arenas such as local government councils, or the establishment of channels for monitoring citizen satisfaction with key service sectors.

More generally, DFID uses the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) criteria to evaluate its own programmes. The criteria are: relevance; efficiency; effectiveness; impact; and sustainability:

17 Jan 2006 : Column 1218W

Developing Countries (Agricultural Trade)

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps have been taken by his Department to assist developing countries in reforming their agricultural trade policies. [40596]

Mr. Thomas: DFID, along with all Government Departments, is committed to see reform of developed country agriculture policies, including trade policies, which distort international markets, and which if reformed, could deliver real development gains to the world's poorest countries. In the assistance we provide to developing countries, we do not start from the premise that their agriculture trade policies specifically must be reformed. The assistance that DFID provides to developing countries under our trade related capacity building programme is designed to support their own priorities and development needs, as identified by the countries themselves, and falls into three broad categories; helping developing countries to determine their own trade policies; helping them to negotiate their priorities in both bilateral and multilateral fora; and helping them to capture the potential benefits from trade. Since 1998, we have committed £181 million to trade related capacity building, and are set to increase this Aid for Trade to £100 million per annum by 2010.

For the least developed countries (LDCs), we contribute to the reform of their trade policies, including agricultural trade policies, through our support to the integrated framework (IF). The IF is an international initiative which assists LDCs to take the steps necessary to improve their trading performance in a manner which supports economic growth and poverty reduction. A Diagnostic Trade Integration Study (DTIS) is carried out for each LDC participating in the IF which identifies constraints to the trading performance of LDCs, policies, infrastructure, institutional and private sector capacity. It also provides technical advice on how to address these constraints. Agriculture trade policies will be considered in participating LDCs with agricultural export sectors.

The IF is active in over 30 countries, 21 of them in Sub Saharan Africa including Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Mali, Malawi, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Zambia. DFID has contributed a total of £4.5 million to the IF since 2001.

DFID has also contributed £850,000 to the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF), a multi-donor funded programme that assists developing countries in improving their expertise and capacity to analyse and implement international sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) standards.
17 Jan 2006 : Column 1219W

DFID has recently published an agriculture policy paper. This identifies the need to improve the benefits of agricultural trade to poor people and poor countries and reaffirms DFID's strong commitment to agriculture, which we recognise as fundamental to poverty reduction and to the livelihoods of poor people.


Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) what the (a) birth rate, (b) death rate and (c) infant mortality rate in Falluja was in each year since 1990; [42206]

(2) what the population of Falluja was in each year since 1990; [42207]

(3) what recent assessment his officials have made of the humanitarian situation in Falluja; [42208]

(4) how many people (a) in total and (b) as a percentage of the total population in Falluja had access to (i) clean water and (ii) electricity in each year since 1990 for which records are available. [42235]

Mr. Thomas: DFID has not made any recent assessment of the humanitarian situation in Falluja.

Humanitarian assistance and reconstruction in Falluja is the responsibility of the Iraqi Government, with support from the United States. Significant progress has been made since military operations concluded, and further projects are under way to improve basic services. To date, Falluja has received US$100 million for reconstruction, and US$103 million in housing compensation. The Iraqi Prime Minister recently approved a further US$75 million housing compensation, so that Falluja will have received a total of $281 million. Power and water is currently estimated to be available to over 80 per cent. of the population as a rule; however, a recent fire at an electricity substation has restricted these services. Prior to April 2004, the population of Falluja was estimated at 300,000; today the population is around 239,000.

Statistics on birth rate, death rate and infant mortality in Fallujah since 1990 are unavailable. For Iraq as a whole, this data can be estimated from surveys, However, when information is required at a more local level, the only source of information in most developing countries, including Iraq, is a population census. The most recent census, conducted in 1997, only contains details at the Governorate or regional level. Town-level estimates of birth and death rates are unlikely to have been calculated at any stage.

South East Asia Tsunami

Mr. Quentin Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what conclusions were reached by the meeting in Brussels on 20 December 2005 to draw lessons from the emergency aid and relief effort for the victims of the South East Asia tsunami of 26 December 2004; and if he will make a statement. [42173]

Mr. Thomas: I have arranged for the document entitled 'UK Presidency Conclusions from the Tsunami Follow-up Event; 20th December 2005: Brussels' to be placed in the Libraries of the House.
17 Jan 2006 : Column 1220W


Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to help reduce infant mortality in the Sudan; and what help is available to Sudan from Government reconstruction funds. [41832]

Mr. Thomas: As in any conflict or humanitarian emergency, child health has suffered hugely in Sudan. In 2004, UNICEF's figures showed that out of 1,000 live births in Sudan, an estimated 91 would die before the age of five. By way of comparison, the UK's under five mortality rate is six out of 1,000.

This financial year, DFID has allocated £112.75 million for our work in Sudan. We aim to contribute towards the most critical needs in Sudan, especially in Darfur, Southern Sudan and the East. Of this, we channelled £45 million through the UN Work plan and £25 million via NGOs for a wide range of assistance including water and sanitation, emergency health care, shelter, food and nutrition; all of which help to reduce mortality.

For example, DFID currently funds a project which provides bed nets to women and children in Southern Sudan where malaria, a large contributor to infant mortality, is endemic. This follows similar programmes in Kenya and Gambia where it has been found that impregnated bed nets can reduce overall mortality rates by up to 30 per cent. in malaria endemic areas.

Although only a snapshot of the situation over the last six months, the recent World Health Organisation (WHO) mortality survey in Darfur revealed that death rates have dropped by two thirds in some areas. This points to the effectiveness of the responses in stabilising and improving the humanitarian situation in Darfur. With raising levels of insecurity, however, this remains extremely fragile.

Next Section Index Home Page