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10 July 2006 : Column 1412W—continued

Until the Hamas Government agree to the conditions set out by the Quartet, UK Government aid will be channelled outside the Palestinian Authority. We expect to contribute through a new temporary international mechanism to provide support for Palestinian basic needs.

The UK also provides funding through the Global Conflict Prevention Pool (GCPP), which is managed jointly by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), DFID and the Ministry of Defence (MOD). Current projects in the Palestinian Territories:

The GCPP also funds a number of relevant projects with Israeli non-governmental organisations. These organisations are:

In Iraq, the UK Government have pledged a total of £544 million for reconstruction from 2003 until 2006 (including contributions from DFID, the FCO and the MOD, the GCPP, and the UK's share of EC funding in Iraq). The UK has disbursed over £533 million.

DFID's programme for 2006-07 in Iraq focuses on four key areas of economic reform; infrastructure improvements; governance and institution building; and support for civil society and political participation. This is through the projects listed, through our work as a major contributor to the United Nations and World Bank Trust Funds for Iraq, and by helping other donors to establish programmes in Iraq. DFID is currently funding the following projects:

In 2006-07 the Global Conflict Prevention Pool is undertaking the following projects in Iraq:

The FCO has also allocated £100,000 for human rights support projects in Iraq.

In Afghanistan, DFID's aid programme (£102 million in 2006-7) supports three of the Afghan Government's own objectives, as set out in their Interim Afghanistan National Development Strategy: (i) building effective state institutions; (ii) improving economic management and the effectiveness of aid to Afghanistan; and (iii) improving the livelihoods of rural people. Current projects are in the following list.

State- building

Economic Management/Aid Effectiveness


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Technical assistance to Ministry reconstruction and rural development and Ministry of Agriculture and animal husbandry on sustainable livelihoods.

Over 70 per cent. of our aid goes directly to the Government of Afghanistan. The UK is the largest donor to the Government's recurrent budget—covering annual costs such as salaries for teachers and health workers. This is exactly what the Afghan Government want—and is the best chance for building effective state institutions that will last.

Palestinian Authority

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much financial aid was given to the Palestinian Authority in each year since 2000. [83109]

Hilary Benn: DFID’s support to the Palestinian Authority (PA) since 2000 has been as follows:

Financial year Support to the PA (£ million)













This support has included technical assistance and financial aid, including budgetary support. These figures are in addition to Palestinian projects implemented outside the PA, including contributions to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for refugees.

Following Hamas’ victory in the Palestinian Legislative Council elections of January 2006, and their subsequent failure to meet the Quartet principles, all direct aid to the Palestinian Authority has been suspended.

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much financial aid he expects the UK will give to the Palestinian Authority in 2006-07. [83139]

Hilary Benn: Until the Hamas-led Government complies with the principles laid out by the Quartet (the United Nations, the United States of America, Russia and the European Union), direct aid to the Palestinian Authority will not be possible. The principles are that the Hamas-led Government should recognise Israel, renounce violence, and accept previous agreements and obligations, including the Roadmap.

However, DFID’s programme of support to the Palestinian people will continue. In April we released £15 million to the United Nations Relief and Works
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Agency which provides health, education and other basic services to Palestinian refugees.

The UK also intends to make a contribution of up to £12 million to a temporary international mechanism to provide direct support to the basic needs of the Palestinian people.

School Construction (Africa)

Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many schools have been built in the past 12 months in African countries. [83119]

Hilary Benn: The Education for All Global Monitoring Report is the primary source of data on country progress towards the Millennium Development Goal of universal primary education. It does not include data about the building of new schools. For DFID bilaterally to collect such data across Africa would involve a disproportionate cost. We are, however, tracking data on the numbers of girls and boys in school and on progress towards meeting the universal primary education and gender equality Millennium Development Goals.

Skill Sharing

Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make a statement on the ways in which the UK is sharing skills with African countries, with particular reference to plumbers and electricians and training young people. [83118]

Hilary Benn: DFID does not provide any specific vocational training for trainee plumbers and electricians. However, DFID’s Higher Education Links programme has facilitated training for many young people. For example, a link between the University of Natal in South Africa and the University of Ulster has enabled the training of community youth workers to work in poor communities.

Following a review of the Links programme, DFID recently launched a new £15 million programme, Development Partnerships in Higher Education (DelPHE) that will run until March 2013. The DelPHE, managed by the British Council, will support a variety of partnerships between higher education institutions, enabling them to collaborate on activities linked to sustainable development, science and technology, and the reduction of poverty.


A303 Stonehenge

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects a decision to be made on the review of the A303 Stonehenge Improvement Scheme. [84344]

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Dr. Ladyman: The cross-Government steering group, which has been reviewing the options for the A303 at Stonehenge, will be producing a report to Ministers in the summer. This will set out the results of the public consultation and a detailed assessment of the shortlisted options. We will need to carefully consider this report before deciding on a way forward.

Antisocial Behaviour (Trains)

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many trains were (a) delayed and (b) cancelled because of vandalism on the tracks in the past 12 months, broken down by region. [77780]

Derek Twigg: The information is as follows:

(a) The information on delays is not available in the format requested.

(b) The following table shows the percentage of all train cancellations, resulting from vandalism, listed by Network Rail route, from April 1 2005 to March 31 2006.

Network Rail (NR) route Percentage of cancellations due to vandalism per NR route





London North East


London North West










Boats (Blood Alcohol Limits)

Hugh Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the Government have any plans to introduce a maximum blood alcohol limit for (a) recreational mariners and (b) those in charge of a boat. [83515]

Dr. Ladyman: Following a consultation in 2004 and more recent evidence given to us, including two Marine Accident Investigation Branch recommendations, we are now working with interested parties to see what appropriate measures should be taken to implement the relevant provisions of the Railways and Transport Safety Act 2003.

Hugh Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment the Government have made of the results of the 2004 consultation into a maximum blood alcohol limit for recreational mariners. [83516]

Dr. Ladyman: We are currently reassessing all the views in the light of the Marine Accident Investigation Branch recommendations delivered earlier this year and will make an announcement once that exercise is complete.

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