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Written Answers to Questions

Monday 27 March 2006


African Catalytic Growth Fund

Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make a statement on the establishment of the African Catalytic Growth Fund. [60431]

Hilary Benn: The World Bank's Africa Action Plan, which forms part of the World Bank's response to the commitments made at Gleneagles last June and was endorsed by bank governors at their annual meeting in Washington in September, proposed the establishment of a Catalytic Growth Fund". Its purpose is to help Africa make faster progress on meeting the MDGs, particularly the hardest-to-reach" ones like health and access to water, and increasing the rate of economic growth. Its aim is to complement other sources of development financing, including those from the International Development Association (IDA), while, at the same time, being innovative and creative in supporting countries that have shown an ability to make good use of increased amounts of aid, as well as countries with reforming and post-conflict Governments that show a commitment to reducing poverty. Money will also be given to regional projects to deal with needs that cross borders.
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We welcome the Bank's agreement that use of the Fund will be guided by the priorities of the Africa Partnership Forum and that the World Bank will ensure regular consultations with Fund donors, African Governments and regional institutions.

The Fund will be financed by voluntary contributions from World Bank members. The UK is the first country to pledge support, our £200 million contribution was announced in October 2005. The Bank is also seeking contributions from other donors. We expect the first projects to be approved in the coming months.

Coercive Abortion

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 16 February 2006, Official Report, column 2370W, on coercive abortion, what the response was of (a) the Chinese Government and (b) the unofficial delegation of senior Chinese policy-makers who visited the UK in August 2005; and if he will make a statement. [59463]

Mr. Thomas: We have not yet had a response from the Government of China on coercive abortion. The unofficial Chinese delegation which visited London last year took note of our concerns. We will continue to raise our concern on this issue and to make further inquiries through our embassy in Beijing.

Development Aid

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which Commonwealth countries receive international development aid. [55952]

Mr. Thomas: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the table providing details of DAC and UK Bilateral and Multilateral funding for 2004 to Commonwealth Countries.

DFID also provides non-attributable core support to the range of Commonwealth countries through the Programmes of the Commonwealth Secretariat.
Total DAC and UK bilateral and multilateral official development assistance/official aid (ODA/OA) by recipient country 2004(1)
Net bilateral ODA/OA(2)

of which:
CountryUnited KingdomDebt relief(3)Total DAC donorsTotal multilateral(4)
Antigua and Barbuda0.00.70.7
Papua New Guinea(5)0.0136.49.4
Samoa (Western)(5)
Sierra Leone33.20.089.0106.7
Solomon Islands(5)
South Africa47.5251.285.3
Sri Lanka9.2T84.387.6
St. Kitts and Nevis0.0-0.10.5
St. Lucia-15.1-13.01.3
St. Vincent and Grenadines0.04.02.1
Trinidad and Tobago0.23.9-4.4

(1)2003 data are shown since these are the latest figures available for all columns in the table except UK net bilateral ODA/OA and presenting 2004 figures for this column would prevent comparisons.
(2)Total net bilateral ODA/OA comprises flows from 22 DAC member countries, including the UK but excludes the European Commission.
(3)DFID also reported £0.56 million as a multilateral payment to the HIPC trust fund in 2003.
(4)Total amounts presented here. Figures are not yet available for the imputed UK share of multilateral net ODA/OA.
(5)Individual country information is not available as UK to Pacific expenditure is at regional level only.

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Energy Efficiency

Mrs. Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps he is taking to increase energy efficiency within his Department; and if he will make a statement. [60336]

Mr. Thomas: The Department for International Development (DFID) is strongly committed to the targets set out in the Framework for Sustainable Development on the Government Estate. During the refurbishments of our UK offices we incorporated many energy saving mechanisms; for instance, a new building management system allow us to monitor and manage energy usage to a much greater extent than in the past. DFID has also installed energy efficient heating systems and lighting systems which are movement sensitive and take account of natural lighting levels. An environment management system has been implemented at both UK offices.

DFID is also currently installing timers to regulate energy usage and additional sub-meters to monitor our energy usage even more closely in the future. We have ensured that 100 per cent. electricity used in our main UK offices is from renewable sources and we are also currently investigating additional options such as combined heat and power plants, solar panels and a wind turbine at our East Kilbride office. The design for the refurbishment of our East Kilbride office has received an excellent" and the London office a very good" rating under the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology (BREEAM). We are also actively encouraging staff to use energy
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efficiently, for instance by switching off equipment when not in use rather than simply leaving on stand-by". DFID is also in the process of arranging under the Carbon Trust Framework Agreement, a carbon management programme including an energy audit of both UK offices.


Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the cost was of the British aid programme to India in the last year for which figures are available; what projects the programme funded; and what the objectives of the programme were. [58164]

Mr. Thomas: This year, DFID will spend around £250 million in India—the Department's largest country programme in the world.

DFID's India programme supports the achievement of the Government of India's (GoI) 10th Plan and Millennium Development Goal (MDG) poverty reduction targets, as outlined in our India Country Assistance Plan (CAP) for 2004–08 (available on DFID's website www.dfid.gov.uk).

The programme is provided in close partnership with the Union Government and the State Governments of Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and West Bengal. In these states, and at the national level, DFID supports the Indian Government's measures to improve the quality and poverty impact of public policies and services and in creating the necessary conditions for
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economic growth. Our funds are directed at increasing access to basic education and health and to improving the lives of poor people in rural and urban areas. We also promote better management of the environment and support activities to empower the poor, especially women and those who are less able to represent themselves.

For example, in West Bengal, our Kolkata Urban Services for the Poor Programme aims to help slum dwellers directly, through funding improvements to slum infrastructure (for example; better drainage, road systems, latrines, solid waste management), and indirectly and in the longer term through supporting overall city management, building in a poverty focus to urban planning, strengthening urban management systems, and working to help municipal authorities become more accountable to citizens. A parallel programme operates in Andhra Pradesh and one is also planned for Madhya Pradesh.

In Andhra Pradesh, our Rural Livelihoods Project supports the State Government in helping poor rural households to develop new livelihood options and landless farmers to earn income from the use of common lands through better use of water in drought-prone areas. The project aims to extend the reach of these schemes to target the poorest and most excluded groups including women, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

Alongside assistance to its four focus states, DFID is strengthening its National Programme to provide significant resources for central programmes in key areas, including health and education where progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) needs to accelerate. For example, DFID is currently supporting the Government of India's Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (Education for All) programme with a £210 million commitment in close collaboration with other donors. This programme is aimed at ensuring that by 2010, all children in India receive eight years of basic education of acceptable quality regardless of sex, caste, creed, family income or location and has already resulted in a reduction in the number of out of school children from 25 million in 2003 to 13.5 million in March 2005. DFID is also financing over 20 per cent. (£128 million) of the Government of India's National Polio Eradication Programme, which has succeeded in confining this disease to only a few isolated pockets in the country.

Through the National and State programmes, DFID is also placing renewed emphasis on support to Indian civil society, to strengthen the capacity of poor people to participate in decisions affecting their lives.

A table of all projects currently supported by DFID India is as follows:
DFID India programme and projects active in financial year 2005–06

Programme/ProjectProject start date
Andhra Pradesh Power Sector Reforms—Phase 21993
West Bengal District Primary Education—Phase 11997
Andhra Pradesh Economic Restructuring Project1998
Oil Seeds1998
Andhra Pradesh Urban Services for the Poor1999
Orissa: Public Sector Enterprise Reforms Extension Phase1999
West Bengal District Primary Education—Phase II1999
Western India Rainfed Farming Project1999
Andhra Pradesh Rural Livelihoods1999
National Microfinance Support Project-SIDBI1999
Western Orissa Rural Livelihoods Project2000
Orissa: Post Cyclone Reconstruction of Primary Schools2001
Kolkata Environment Improvement Project2001
Poorest Areas Civil Society Programme2001
Orissa: District Primary Education Programme2001
Pulse Polio—support for polio eradication2002
Orissa: Interim Health Sector Support2002
Madhya Pradesh: Technical Assistance for Power Sector Reform2002
Orissa: Public Sector Enterprise Reforms II2003
Madhya Pradesh Health Guarantee Scheme2003
Orissa Civil Society Programme2003
Madhya Pradesh: Rural Livelihoods2003
Pro-Poor Globalisation Support for UNCTAD2003
Orissa: Industrial Policy Resolution2003
West Bengal: Public Sector Enterprise Reforms—Phase 12004
Kolkatta Urban Services for the Poor2004
India: Access to Justice Programme2004
UNICEF—Child Environment Phase II2004
National AIDS Control Programme2004
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan2004
Child Registration—support to UNICEF2004
Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) advocacy component of UNICEF2004
Reproductive and Child Health II—Technical Assistance to UNFPA2004
Small and Medium Enterprise Development Programme2004
Pilot Private Sector Partnerships Project2004
Orissa: Tribal Empowerment and Livelihoods2004
ADB Trust Fund2004
UNDP Trust Fund2004
UNDP Trust Fund (Disaster Risk Management Programme)2004
ILO IPAC Elimination of Child Labour2005
Capacity Building for Poverty Reduction2005
West Bengal Health Sector Support2005
West Bengal: Civil Society Organisations2005
Andhra Pradesh Education Strategies Project2005
Pulse Polio—support to WHO2005
Pulse Polio—support to UNICEF2005
Reproductive and Child Health Programme—Phase 22005
Revised National Tuberculosis Programme—Phase 2 (National)2005
Environment Planning and Co-ordination2005
World Bank Trust Fund2005
West Bengal: Support for Rural Decentralisation2006
UNICEF Strategic Partnership for India Trust Fund2006

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