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Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much his Department spent on reconstruction in Iraq between April 2003 and December 2005. 
Hilary Benn: DFID spent £290 million in humanitarian and reconstruction assistance in Iraq between April 2003 and December 2005. DFID also provides 19 per cent. of European Community development funding: the EC spent €518 million on humanitarian and reconstruction assistance to Iraq between 2003 and 2005.
Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much was spent on armoured civilian vehicles by his Department for operation in Iraq between April 2003 and December 2005; and how many such vehicles were purchased by his Department in that period. 
Between April 2003 and December 2005, DFID purchased 42 armoured vehicles, to enable staff to safely carry out our humanitarian and reconstruction activities in Iraq. The total cost of these vehicles was £2,732,000.
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Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the cost to his Department was of (a) preparing and (b) deploying contracted (i) civil service and (ii) non-civil service (A) UK and (B) non-UK civilian personnel to Iraq between April 2003 and December 2005; and what the salary costs of these staff were in this period. 
Hilary Benn: Between April 2003 and December 2005, DFID spent £210,000 preparing DFID civil servants and consultants for deployment to Iraq. This covers pre-deployment hostile environment training, plus necessary equipment such as satellite phones, body armour, flak jackets and helmets. Our records do not disaggregate this figure between our own staff and project consultants or between UK and non UK personnel.
DFID civil servants working on the Iraq programme in this period have cost £4.4 million. This includes salaries, overseas allowances, transfer costs and travel. Of this amount, £3 million was disbursed on salaries. Again, our records do not disaggregate these costs between those staff working in London and those working in Iraq, or between UK and non UK personnel.
Most non-civil service personnel deployed to Iraq are engaged not individually, but through bigger contracts to implement projects. The total cost to DFID of all consultancy contracts in Iraq during this period was £31.4 million. Our records do not disaggregate this figure between fees, reimbursables and programme costs, or between preparation and deployment costs. Consultants receive fees rather than salaries, so it may be helpful to know that the average fees paid for a consultant working for DFID in Iraq are between £700 to £1,250 a day.
In addition to the above costs, DFID also meets essential life support costs for all DFID staff and consultants who work in or visit Iraq. This includes security, transport, medical services, food and accommodation; we expect to disburse £55 million on this life-support between April 2003 and the end of the current financial year, ending 31 March 2006. This support is necessary and integral to the effective delivery of the humanitarian and reconstruction programmes that we run.
Dr. Francis: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make a statement on his Department's activities in Mauritius. 
Hilary Benn: DFID does not have a bilateral programme in Mauritius. Our development assistance to Mauritius is primarily channelled through our contributions to the EC and UN programmes there. The UK contributes 12.7 per cent. to the European Development Fund, which delivers funds to ACP countries, including Mauritius. The EC has allocated 43 million euros for development activities in Mauritius between 2001 and 2007.
In addition, the UK provides limited support through a small grants scheme, amounting to £60,000 this year, for which the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is responsible.
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Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) what alternative channels of funding to the Palestinians are being considered should Hamas refuse to renounce violence and recognise Israel; 
(2) what assessment he has made of the effect of the Palestinian election on international funding for Palestinian development; 
(3) what review of the country assistance plan for Palestinians is being made in light of Hamas's success in the Palestinian elections; 
(4) what assessment he has made of private sector initiatives as a means of sustaining international aid to the Palestinians. 
Hilary Benn: The Government fully support the statements by the Quartet and the European Union on 30 January. We support the Quartet in urging measures to facilitate the work of the current caretaker government to stabilise public finances. Future assistance to any new Palestinian Government will be reviewed against that Government's commitment to the principles of non-violence, recognition of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations, including the roadmap. Subject to that review it is too early to say what channels of funding to the Palestinians might be appropriate.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer has launched an initiative to identify how private sector development and growth can contribute to sustained peace in the region. DFID supports this initiative and, in collaboration with the World Bank, is providing expertise on private sector development.
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what action the Government are taking to support the capacity of (a) parliaments, (b) parliamentarians and (c) parliamentary officials in (i) the Middle East, (ii) north Africa and (iii) central and eastern Europe to (A) hold Governments to account and (B) improve the effectiveness of public expenditure; and if he will make a statement. 
Hilary Benn: The Government's support to parliaments in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central and Eastern Europe is provided through DFID and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), and through the European Commission's external assistance budget, 17 per cent. of which is attributed to DFID. Our programmes help parliaments to hold their Governments to account, monitor public expenditure and represent constituency and public interest.
Programmes in the Middle East and North Africa
The FCO's Engaging with the Islamic World (EIW) Programme has funded over 50 projects in North Africa and the Middle East since 2003. The programme places a special emphasis on support for internal political and economic reform in Arab countries, and works either with host Governments or with established and respected non-governmental organisations (NGOs). The programme has supported projects to build the capacity of parliaments, parliamentarians and parliamentary officials in the Middle East and North Africa region, up to a value of approximately £1.7 million. These have included an
In Yemen, DFID is supporting a public financial management reform programme which aims to strengthen parliament's oversight of the budget preparation process. So far, DFID has committed £200,000 for the programme's design phase.
Programmes in Central and Eastern Europe
In Russia, DFID has established a Donor Secretariat with funding of £550,000, as part of a joint DFID-World Bank Trust Fund on Public Administration Reform. The Secretariat works with the Russian Parliament to help strengthen its capacity to tackle corruption and ensure effective public expenditure management, in accordance with international best practice on accountability and transparency.
In Bosnia Herzegovina, DFID is providing training and guidance to help all parliamentarians to understand and contribute to the budgeting process, and to strengthen the role of the Parliamentary Assembly Finance Committee. This training is provided through our Medium Term Expenditure Framework project, whose total budget is £1.6 million.
In Ukraine, DFID's development programme includes work on training parliamentarians and parliamentary officials in legislative drafting techniques to ensure clear, transparent and non-discretional laws. Over the period 200003, DFID ran a £1.5 million Local and Regional Government Institutional Strengthening Programme, aimed at improving the effectiveness of public expenditure. The project worked in close co-operation with the Ukrainian Parliament Budgetary Committee to support development of the Budget Code approved by the Ukrainian Parliament in 2001. In 2005 DFID provided £100,000 for a follow-up project which has continued our work on refining the application of the Budget Code.
In Moldova, the FCO's Global Opportunities Fund is helping parliamentarians in Moldova to scrutinise proposals for harmonisation with EU legislation.
In Georgia, DFID has committed £400,000 to help build civil society's capacity to analyse public finances; this project may include building the capacity of parliamentary committees to oversee public expenditure.
Programmes covering both regions
The Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) is a Non-Departmental Public Body which was set up by the FCO in 1992, and is funded primarily by an annual £4.1 million grant from the FCO. The WFD works with the political parties in the House of Commons to promote political party development in Central and Eastern Europe, Anglophone Africa, the Middle East and North Africa. It also funds projects which support parliaments and other organisations involved in political development in these regions. Currently the WFD is developing a programme of activities for a network of reform-minded parliamentarians.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office arranges many visits to the UK for parliamentarians from the Middle East, North Africa and central and eastern Europe, as part of its Sponsored Visits Programme.
The EC's Technical Assistance and Information Exchange Instrument (TAIEX) provides assistance to parliamentarians in Central and Eastern Europe through seminars and study visits. The European Commission is extending TAIEX to cover European Neighbourhood Partnership Initiative (ENPI) countries in Eastern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
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