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Written Answers to Questions

Wednesday 1 February 2006


Citizens Juries

Mr. Wills: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development on how many occasions his Department consulted citizens' juries on departmental policies in the last five years; in how many of those consultations the recommendations of the citizens' jury differed from existing departmental policy; and on how many occasions departmental policy was changed to reflect the recommendations of the citizens' jury. [46237]

Hilary Benn: The Department for International Development has not consulted citizens' juries on departmental policies in the last five years.

Civil Servants (Overseas Visits)

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what costs were incurred by his Department as a result of sending civil servants on overseas visits in each of the last 10 years. [46281]

Mr. Thomas: Figures for travel costs within administration costs budgets for years which information is readily available are shown as follows:

The figures for travel reflect all domestic and overseas travel for Ministers, Advisers and Officials and include costs for all travel, accommodation and subsistence. It is not possible to disaggregate costs for Officials' travel overseas without incurring a disproportionate cost.

Information for earlier years is not readily available and in some cases will no longer be held.

In 2003–04, DFID introduced new procedures to draw together administration costs, including those travel costs which had previously been recorded on the programme budget. These changes have increased transparency and has enabled DFID to manage administration costs more effectively. Figures for 2003–04 onwards now include travel costs that were previously funded by country programmes and as a result are not comparable with earlier years.

All official travel is undertaken in accordance with the rules contained in DFID's Staff Handbook and complies with the Civil Service Management Code.
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EU Agricultural Subsidies

Adam Afriyie: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment he has made of the impact of EU agricultural subsidies on people in developing countries; and if he will make a statement. [46740]

Mr. Thomas: The Department for International Development supports a range of research on the impacts of developed countries agricultural policies on developing countries. One current programme is with the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) on the impacts of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) agricultural Policies on developing countries. The research outputs are available at www.fao.org/trade The Government recognise the damaging impact that trade-distorting subsidies in the EU and other OECD countries have on developing countries and we are committed to securing reductions in these subsidies, through reform of the Common Agricultural Policy and the World Trade Organisation talks.

The most recent common agricultural policy reform package agreed in 2003–04 marks a significant shift in the EU's agricultural policy. The decoupling of subsidies from production should increase the market orientation of European farmers, leading to reductions in production and disposal of subsidised surpluses abroad.

The Government also fully supports the commitment made as part of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Doha Development Agenda

There was progress towards this at the recent WTO ministerial in Hong Kong, where the EU agreed to phase-out its export subsidies by 2013.

Health Projects (Funding)

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what proportion of his Department's budget for 2005–06 is allocated to projects for (a) AIDS, (b) tuberculosis and (c) malaria. [46879]

Mr. Thomas: DFID will spend at least £1.5 billion on AIDS related work over three years (2005–06 to 2007–08). The Department does not have a specific target for the year 2005–06. There are no targets for the Department's spending on TB and Malaria. However, DFID has already committed to double its funding to the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria to £100 million for 2006 and the same for 2007.


Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 18 January 2006, Official Report, column 1329W, on HIV/AIDS (paediatric care), if he will list the countries in which the UK funds AIDS programmes. [46381]

Mr. Thomas: DFID directly and indirectly supports HIV and AIDS related activities across all its 16 priority countries in Africa. These are Democratic Republic of the
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Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In well-developed states, DFID focuses on supporting national government decision-making processes and associated institutional reforms in line with the 3 ones" principles" and uses aid instruments such as general budget support. In fragile states" where working with government has been more difficult, we have been supporting UN agencies and civil society organisations to provide a range of services.

In Asia, DFID funds HIV and AIDS programmes in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Vietnam, Cambodia and China. Most are not stand-alone DFID programmes, but are jointly funded. Burma is funded through our support to the UN.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, regional programmes cover a wide range of countries. In Latin America, the Brazil Sexually Transmitted Diseases/AIDS Programme provides technical support across the region. Focus countries are Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru. In the Caribbean, the Regional Programme covers a wide range of island states, with a focus on six countries in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, and St. Kitts & Nevis). A new project supporting the private sector response to HIV and AIDS is under way in Jamaica and Barbados. A programme tackling AIDS-related stigma and discrimination covers all countries in the Caribbean.

In the Overseas Territories, support is provided to the Caribbean Epidemiology Centre to provide technical support and services for all of the Caribbean Overseas Territories (Montserrat, Turks and Caicos, British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, Cayman Islands and Anguilla).

In Europe and Central Asia, DFID supports HIV and AIDS programmes in Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan), through a programme working jointly with the World Bank. Flexible technical assistance programmes are also funded in Central Asia, Russia, Ukraine and Serbia and Montenegro, working with the Joint United Nation Programme for HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS).

Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 6 December 2005, Official Report, column 1189W, to the hon. Member for South-West Surrey (Mr. Hunt) on HIV/AIDS, what progress has been made since the publication of the good practice framework in March 2005 towards (a) increasing access to paediatric medicines and (b) stimulating research and development into paediatric formulations. [46833]

Mr. Thomas: DFID published 'Increasing People's Access to Essential Medicines in Developing Countries: a Framework for Good Practice in the Pharmaceutical Industry' in March 2005, with widespread pharmaceutical industry support. The framework was developed in close consultation with the industry and with its stakeholders, including the World Health Organisation (WHO), non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and institutional investors. The framework, which recommends increased research and development into treatment and vaccinations
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for children, builds on the good work of many of the companies in the industry, and encourages pharmaceutical companies to go further by:

The first recommendation related to research and development encouraged increased investment in medicines and vaccines for children. This issue has been discussed with pharmaceutical companies on a number of occasions since the launch, including at a well attended meeting of pharmaceutical companies and Government Departments on 30 September last year. Another meeting was held on 31 January to discuss differential pricing to make medicines cheaper in developing countries. The next meeting of the group will focus on paediatric issues.

The UK Government have also made significant progress on developing innovative financing to incentivise increased investment in research and development, including for paediatric formulations of medicines such as antiretroviral medicines. Research and development tax credits to increase investment in research and development for medicines and vaccines for AIDS, TB and Malaria were introduced in 2002. Last year the UK Government launched the international finance facility for immunisation, and announced plans for advanced market commitments to prompt the development of new medicines and vaccines for diseases affecting developing countries, including for paediatric formulations.

DFID also supports specific research on health in developing countries, including work on communicable diseases, sexual and reproductive health, maternal and paediatric health and HIV. DFID has funded research on the appropriate use of existing medicines in developing country settings including, clinical trials demonstrating the efficacy of co-trimoxazole prophylaxis in reducing mortality among children living with HIV and co-funding of the Development of Antiretroviral Treatment in Africa (DART) Trials with the Medical Research Council (MRC) exploring HIV treatment in resource limited settings, including for children and other vulnerable groups.

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