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Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment he has made of international efforts to (a) assist the relief of those affected by the October 2005 earthquake in South East Asia and (b) help the process of reconstruction; and how much of that effort was provided by the UK. 
Mr. Thomas: DFID has so far committed approximately £53.3 million to the relief effort, making the UK the second largest donor after the US, and has pledged a further £70 million to reconstruction. Overall the international community has committed $1.09 billion to meet relief needs.
DFID is currently conducting a thorough review of the post-earthquake situation in south Asia and the effectiveness of international relief. So far, DFID officials have made three visits to review logistics, health, water and sanitation and shelter; two more will take place later this month to look at the response of the Red Cross Movement and at livelihoods.
With regard to the reconstruction, at present there is no formal process by which the Government of Pakistan (GoP) are consulting donors about GoP/donor preferences for commitment and utilisation of the funds that were pledged to Pakistan at the donors conference on 19 November. There is effective informal co-ordination between the main donors (known locally as the Group of 7) and through this fora, we are working together with the GoP to articulate its demands more clearly, to increase local ownership.
DFID is one of the largest bilateral donors for reconstruction, and is a trusted partner of the Government of Pakistan. We committed £70 million for reconstruction at the Donors' Conference last November. DFID Pakistan has undertaken a programming mission and will be submitting a Programme Memorandum for Ministers' approval this month. DFID funds are likely to be routed through the Government of Pakistan for general reconstruction purposes as well as some more specific technical assistance funds for capacity building and disaster risk reduction.
We have provided technical support to Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA) to draw up a master plan for implementation and
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monitoring of the overall reconstruction programme. DFID support to the Government of Pakistan also includes developing a single, comprehensive monitoring and evaluation framework, providing the Pakistani authorities and donors with a common framework, ensuring no duplication of effort.
The first £5 million tranche of DFID's support for reconstruction has already been spent. In consultation with international programme partners in Pakistan and the Governments of Pakistani Administered Kashmir and the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), immediate reconstruction purposes were identified and the following critical areas were funded:
£800,000 to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) for training teachers and administrators, in order to underpin support for rehabilitation of the education sector;
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make representations to the Prime Minister of Ethiopia on (a) the reorganisation of the National Election Board, (b) the repeal of parliamentary procedures which preclude opposition members from participating fully in parliamentary proceedings, (c) the independence of the judiciary and courts and (d) the establishment of an independent media commission. 
Hilary Benn: The UK Government are committed to promoting better governance in Ethiopia and I have raised concerns about all of these issues with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. Along with a number of donors, we are contributing to Ethiopia's own public sector capacity-building programme, which includes reform of judicial systems. We are also working closely with the Government of Ethiopia, Parliament and other stakeholders on issues such as reform of the National Election Board, best practice in parliamentary procedures, and media legislation. We remain committed to supporting democratisation in Ethiopia.
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will take steps to ensure that the European Union cancels all financial aid to Ethiopia until democracy and the independence of the judiciary is restored in that country. 
Hilary Benn: All donors, including the UK and other European Union members, have decided they can no longer provide assistance to Ethiopia through general budget support, which the Government could use for any purpose, in the light of recent political developments. Nevertheless, the UK remains fully committed to supporting the people of Ethiopia in their fight against poverty, and I do not consider it appropriate to cancel all other forms of aid or to encourage others to do so.
DFID is working with the World Bank and the Government of Ethiopia to develop a new, more accountable method of providing funds, through Government channels, for basic services such as education, health and water. Other donors, including
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the European Commission and some other member states, have expressed an interest in channelling funds through this mechanism.
Mr. Thomas: DFID's grievance procedures are fully compliant with UK legislation and apply to civil servants working in the UK and overseas. We also apply them to our locally appointed staff overseas, who work under local contracts, unless local law dictates otherwise.
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David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many complaints of (a) bullying and (b) sexual harassment have been investigated in his Department in each of the last three years; and how many complaints have been upheld. 
Mr. Thomas: DFID's Grievance Procedures are fully compliant with UK legislation and apply to civil servants working in the UK and overseas. We also apply them to our locally appointed staff overseas, who work under local contracts, unless local law dictates otherwise. We are currently preparing a Dignity At Work policy, which will provide improved guidance on issues such as bullying and harassment, including sources of advice and support
A total of seven complaints of bullying or harassment have been investigated in the last three years. This includes civil servants and locally appointed staff overseas. Due to the small numbers, a breakdown by year, category and outcome is not made public on grounds of confidentiality.
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|UK bilateral aid in real terms at 2004 prices||Estimated UK share of multilateral assistance in real terms as at 2004 prices|
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