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Mr. Thomas: The concept of DFID involvement in the new multi-donor fund to tackle HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in Burma was approved by Ministers in March 2006, but the level of DFID's contribution has yet to be finally approved. We anticipate a decision by early July 2006.
Mr. Andrew Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether people in Burma receiving antiretroviral treatment through projects funded by his Department are able to receive regular and reliable blood tests to monitor the efficacy of such treatments. 
Mr. Thomas: DFID funds antiretroviral treatment in Burma through the joint-donor Fund for HIV/AIDS in Myanmar (FHAM), to which DFID is the largest contributor, providing £10 million over five years. At 31 March 2006, the FHAM was providing antiretroviral treatment to 2,953 patients. All of those people are able to receive regular clinical follow-up and monitoring, including reliable blood tests, to monitor the efficacy of their treatments.
Blood tests in the vast majority of cases include CD4 T-cell counts, which is a technique which monitors the response of the patient's immune system to the antiretroviral treatment. Materials and chemical reagents are sourced from reputable suppliers, and training of clinicians and laboratory scientists in these methodologies has been undertaken by the International NGOs involved and by the World Health Organisation (with FHAM funding).
In the main referral centres in Yangon and Mandalay, automated CD4 counter machines are available and as antiretroviral treatment is provided to new areas in peripheral areas, additional manual CD4 counting equipment and reagents, will be supplied. Those organisations funded by FHAM who provide antiretroviral treatment but do not use CD4 T-cell counts instead test patients' blood using a process of clinical staging, which is also regarded as a good practice means of monitoring treatment efficacy. In addition, the introduction of a further test for the effectiveness of antiretroviral treatment is planned for the near future, when HIV viral load testing will be made available at the central National Health Laboratory, with the support of UNICEF.
Mr. Andrew Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent estimate he has made of the number of Karen people internally displaced by the Burmese Governments recent attacks on Karen civilians. 
Mr. Thomas: It is very difficult to provide a realistic estimate of the numbers of recently internally displaced Karen people because of the problems in obtaining data in Burma generally, and especially in areas of ongoing conflict. We have seen estimates ranging from 11,000 to 18,000 people and adopt a working assumption of approximately 15,000.
Mr. Thomas: DFID has only one building with flagpoles, which is in Scotland, and therefore flags are flown in accordance with the directives issued by the Scottish Executive. The St. Georges Flag is not flown; the European Flag is flown alongside the Union Flag on European Day.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will keep a separate record of the amount spent annually by his Department on alcohol for hospitality purposes. 
Colin Burgon: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment has been made of the compatibility of Inter-American Development Bank programmes with his Department's poverty objectives. 
Mr. Thomas: The Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) plays an important role in assisting its borrowing member countries in their efforts to implement the Millennium Development Goals. This is in line with the IADB's mission of accelerating economic and social development and reducing poverty. DFID works closely with the IADB to tackle poverty and inequality, including support through a number of trust funds which are specifically designed to help the very poorest people in the region.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which Private Members Bills were drafted by his Department in each Session since 1997; and which of those received Royal Assent. 
Mr. Thomas: My hon. Friend the Minister of State for Health Services led the UK Delegation to the World Health Assembly. The Assembly was overshadowed by the sudden death of the director general (DG), Dr. Lee. However, an acting director general (Anders Nordstrom) was approved and a process for selecting a new DG was agreed.
Overall, it was a very difficult Assembly due to the loss of Dr. Lee. However, agreements were reached, which will improve global public health. The following items were of particular relevance to the development agenda.
The General Programme of Work, which is essentially the World Health Organisation's (WHO) long-term vision (2006-15) was agreed. A key objective for the UK is to see the General Programme of Work linked to a new Medium-Term Strategic Plan which will be developed by 2008; along with the preparation of the next biannual budget.
A new Global Strategy for the Prevention and control of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) was endorsed. This is an important strategy to re-invigorate and accelerate STI prevention and control, which is urgently required if countries are to achieve universal access to HIV prevention treatment and care, and to improve sexual and reproductive health and rights.
In relation to HIV and AIDS, resolutions were also passed on nutrition and HIV/AIDS, and a resolution to endorse the Global Task Team recommendations on improving AIDS co-ordination among multilateral institutions and international donors. The Health Assembly also supported the WHO to develop a five-year-plan to help achieve universal access to HIV/AIDS treatment by 2010.
A resolution was agreed on Intellectual Property Rights to improve access to medicines, vaccines and diagnostics for people in developing countries. The Assembly agreed to establish an intergovernmental working group to draw up a global strategy and plan of action based on the recommendations of the Commission on Intellectual Property Rights, Innovation and Public Health.
A resolution on the role of nursing and midwifery was agreed, which is linked to the theme of the World Health Report on health work force issues. This is an important contribution to supporting the sustainable development of health systems.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many abandoned cars were recorded in each local authority in England in 2004-05; and what estimate has been made for 2005-06. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Numbers of abandoned vehicles in each local authority were primarily collected from WasteDataFlow in 2004-05: http://www.wastedataflow.org. Results from authorities that responded are listed in the following table. Results for 2005-06 are not yet available and estimates have not been made.
|Local Authority||Abandoned Vehicles 2004-05|
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