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Global Fund

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment he has made of the (a) amount and (b) proportion of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria which has been employed (i) to advertise vacancies which arise, (ii) to appoint staff to manage its affairs, (iii) to employ external consultants and external companies to assist with its work, (iv) to promote and publicise its work and engage in public relations work and (v) on projects in developing countries. [53285]

Mr. Thomas: According to the financial data provided by the Global Fund Secretariat, total expenditure in 2005 was US$1.586 billion. Of this US$1.524 billion (or 96.1 percent.) was for grants to projects in developing countries, and US$62 million (or 3.9 percent.) was for operating expenses.

The total expenditure of US$1.586 billion comprised:

The proportion of operating costs as a ratio of total expenditure fell in 2005 compared with 2004, from 4.9 per cent. to 3.9 per cent. The UK's line as a board member is that Secretariat costs should be kept to a level congruent with the Global Fund acting solely as a financing instrument.

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of whether the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has an adequate complement of core staff to carry out its duties to donor and recipient countries. [53286]

Mr. Thomas: Core staff are needed to ensure the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) fulfils its mandate: raising money, disbursing funds and reporting to the board and other stakeholders on how that money has been used. In addition staff are required to ensure the Global Fund works effectively with others in tackling these three diseases.

Each year the Secretariat proposes appropriate numbers of staff to fulfil its duties. The Board's Finance and Audit Committee reviews this and makes a recommendation to the board. The UK's line as a board member is to ensure that staffing levels are fit for purpose.
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In 2005 the Secretariat comprised 199 staff members including 150 fixed-term posts (contracts up to two years) and 49 short-term positions (contracts up to 11 months). The use of short-term contracts gives flexibility to adjust the numbers and skills mix of staff efficiently. At the twelfth meeting of the Global Fund's Board in December 2005, the Secretariat proposed an increase in staff numbers from 199 to 252 in 2006. The Secretariat argued that the Secretariat has been asked to devote more time to collaboration with partners at country and global levels, and that staffing levels were insufficient. After discussing whether savings could be made from more efficient processes, the board approved the proposed 2006 operating expense budget.

Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many (a) generic and (b) brand-name drugs have been approved for use in schemes financed by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; and if he will make a statement. [48947]

Mr. Thomas: The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria does not currently collect this data.

The Global Fund's procurement policy specifies that resources may be used to procure any medicines that appear in national or the World Health Organization standard treatment guidelines (STGs) or essential medicines lists (EMLs). Unlisted products may be procured only if the principal recipient of the grant states a specific rationale for doing so in its proposal to the Global Fund.


John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent discussions he has had with the Government of Uganda regarding the conservation of Lake Victoria. [52196]

Hilary Benn: I have not had any such discussions, but the most important conservation issue that currently affects Lake Victoria is the rapid fall in water levels. This is in part due to an extended period of drought in the region. In addition, the release of water from Lake Victoria for power generation has recently been in excess of the amounts set out in a formula agreed with the Government of Egypt. The fall in the level of the lake has already had consequences for the agricultural sector and transportation.

The Government of Uganda have re-assessed the extraction of water from Lake Victoria for power generation. Although the country faces a serious energy shortfall, it has agreed with the Government of Egypt and with development partners in Kampala, including the UK, to revert to the agreed formula for the extraction of water immediately. However, lake levels will only begin to rise when the drought ends.

DFID has invested £5.75 million in the Nile Basin Initiative, which is a multi country agreement and programme to manage sustainably the resources of the greater Nile Basin, including Lake Victoria. DFID's support for this initiative is specifically helping to establish arrangements for improved management of water resources in all Uganda's lakes. A separate DFID project has helped Uganda's Department of Fisheries
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improve the management of fisheries resources in Lake Victoria. DFID is helping the government develop an environmental and natural resources sector investment plan which includes the protection of wetlands around the shores of Lake Victoria and the regulation of the discharge of pollutants.


Dr. Francis: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make a statement on his Department's activities in Mozambique. [53714]

Hilary Benn: DFID is the largest bilateral donor in Mozambique. Our aid framework for 2005-06 is £55 million, two thirds of which is provided as Poverty Reduction Poverty Support used to fund Government of Mozambique priorities as set out in the PARPA (Mozambique's Poverty Reduction Strategy). In addition, DFID has a large sectoral programme in the areas of health, education, infrastructure and HIV and AIDS. We also fund key central reform processes, including public financial management and public sector reform, and have a number a programmes with civil society. More information about DFID's programme in Mozambique is available on DFID's website at


Dr. Francis: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make a statement on his Department's activities in Namibia. [53712]

Hilary Benn: The focus of DFID's bilateral programme in Namibia has been on developing livelihoods for the poor in the centre and north of the country. In the past five years DFID's Namibia programme in 2004-05 was £1.2 million.

The UK also supports development programmes in Namibia through multilateral bodies, in particular through our contribution to the European Commission (EC) of which our share of total assistance to Namibia is 14 per cent.

DFID also supports a wide range of HIV prevention and care initiatives in Namibia through the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC). This programme operates in Botswana, Swaziland, Namibia and Lesotho. Namibia should also benefit from a current pipeline programme with UNICEF, which will focus on the care and support of orphans and vulnerable children. This £18 million/three year programme will operate in Angola, Lesotho, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland.

There are several other regional programmes outlined in DFID's Regional Plan for Southern Africa that may benefit Namibia. The priority areas identified in the Plan are peace and security, resilient livelihoods and growth, jobs and equity. The Plan will be launched on 28 February 2006.

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