In addition to its environment specialists, many of DFIDs livelihoods and infrastructure advisers have relevant background or qualifications for working on environmental issues. Ten out of 38 infrastructure advisers have formal environmental professional qualifications e.g. Institution of Water and Environmental Management. Over half of our livelihoods advisers have natural resources qualifications and experience (e.g. soil science, forestry). Each group is lead by a head of profession. The head of profession environment post is currently filled on an acting basis but we will be advertising
shortly. DFIDs chief scientific adviser has been providing support on climate change and agriculture. This role has been formalised in his work plan for 2006-07.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many meetings he has had with other Ministers to discuss climate change and its impact on developing countries in the last 12 months. 
Hilary Benn: I was a member of the ad-hoc ministerial committee on climate change established prior to the G8 summit in 2005 to give officials a steer on this issue. This group met several times in the run up to the summit. Following the G8 summit responsibility for the international dimension of the UKs climate change strategy was taken on by the ministerial committee on energy and environment (EE), chaired by the Prime Minister, of which I am a member. In late June 2006, I met with the cross-party group of MPs who are participating in the G8+5 climate change dialogue, to discuss DFIDs approach to tackling climate change. Climate change has also been identified as a key priority in the UK Governments latest Development White Paper.
At a side event at the World Bank annual meetings in September 2005, the World Bank president, Paul Wolfowitz and I officially launched the energy investment framework, which is to leverage private sector investment in lower carbon energy and energy efficiency with an emphasis on developing countries, particularly those with the fastest growing energy needs. This is an important element of the G8 plan of action on climate change, clean energy and sustainable development.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much his Department allocated to tackling diseases in developing countries in the last year for which figures are available, broken down by disease. 
Mr. Thomas: DFID uses a range of different aid instruments, from direct support to countries to funding through multilateral agencies. It is therefore not possible to break down spending on individual communicable diseases; however it is possible to separate out AIDS from other communicable diseases.
DFIDs spend on communicable diseases apart from AIDS in 2004-05 was £80 million. Recording AIDS-specific expenditure is difficult because there are a range of sectors which have an impact on the epidemic, including health, education, social development and good government. There are also a range of instruments used to channel AIDS-related development spending. DFID has been working with the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and others to review and improve these expenditure calculations. While refinements to the methodology are still in progress, DFID has reported a provisional bilateral expenditure of £350 million on AIDS for the period 2004-05.
The focus of our work in health is to help countries strengthen their health systems both to prevent and mitigate the impact of communicable diseases. Functioning systems are crucial for effectively tackling diarrhoeal diseases, pneumonia and vaccine preventable disease epidemics as well as HIV, TB and malaria. In 2004-05, the UK provided more than £360 million to support health services through our country, regional and research programmes and provided a further £110 million for health through multilateral assistance to World Health Organisation (WHO) and UN agencies.
The UK also provides general poverty reduction budget support to countries to help build basic services, including for health. We are supporting a number of innovative financing mechanisms to increase resources to tackle communicable diseases. For example, the International Finance Facility for Immunisation will raise an additional £4 billion from a number of donors for vaccines for the Global Alliance on Vaccines and Immunisations and help support the development of new vaccines for communicable diseases that can be prevented.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment his Department has made of the food security situation in (a) Southern Africa, (b) the Horn of Africa and (c) Western Africa. 
Hilary Benn: In Southern Africa, the overall picture on food production shows a marked improvement this year compared to the 2004-05 growing season, when DFID spent more than £67 million to deliver emergency assistance to up to 11 million affected people. Urgent humanitarian needs are unlikely this year, except in Zimbabwe, where needs remain pronounced.
Malawi and Zambia are reporting excellent harvests this year, with projected maize production figures for both countries almost double the volumes recorded in 2005. This should feed into more stable prices and improved access in the coming months. Production in South Africa has decreased sharply this yeara result of depressed prices in 2005 in the domestic marketbut carryover stocks from last year are high. The food security outlook for the coming year is worst in Zimbabwe. Although food production is up on last years levels, more than 1 million Zimbabweans still require sustained assistance to help them meet their food requirements.
In West Africa, the food security situation is improved compared to 2005, although continuing humanitarian concerns persist, particularly in the Sahel. In Niger, where populations continue to struggle against the legacies of last years crisis, up to 1.8 million people are currently facing acute difficulties in the ongoing hungry season, with up to 400,000 malnourished children expected to require nutritional therapy this year. In Mauritania, the hungry season is judged to have started early, with up to 400,000 facing acute levels of food-insecurity, particularly in the south. DFID currently has an ongoing humanitarian and hunger-related programme of assistance for the Sahel worth £4 million this year.
Prospects for recovery in the Sahel this year appear compromised by erratic, late-starting and below average rains for the current agricultural season. Elsewhere in West Africa, localised problems of food-insecurity affecting relatively few people (particularly in Guinea and Guinea Buissau) are the exception to an otherwise positive prognosis, with good rainfall expected to lead to an above-average maize crop in August.
In the Horn of Africa, DFID shares the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (UN FAO)s recent assessment that despite improved rains in eastern Africa, food security remains poor among some communities in particular in northern and eastern Kenya, and in Somalia in many of the same areas affected by drought in 2005. In Kenya, overall prospects for the current main cereal crop are favourable, but in Somalia, the outlook is poor and output is expected to be reduced for the third consecutive year. In Eritrea, the picture is mixed. In Ethiopia, the prospects are generally good apart from in parts of the south east. The UN estimates that 7.5 million people are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance in drought-affected areas. In each of these countries high levels of malnutrition and starvation have been demonstrated among children over the past year. The areas and communities where this occurs should be the priority for food aid assistance, and humanitarian assistance more generally. DFID has committed more than £46 million of humanitarian assistance to the response since the end of 2005.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent discussions his Department has had with the World Health Organisation on access to clean water and sanitation in Haiti. 
Hilary Benn [holding answer 19 July 2006]: DFID regularly discusses water and sanitation with the World Health Organisation (WHO) through the Joint Monitoring Programme implemented by WHO and UNICEF, which provides data on access to safe water and basic sanitation. However, we have not had any recent specific discussions on Haiti.
Mr. Thomas: DFID has so far given £5 million to relief agencies working to address the urgent humanitarian needs of people affected by the earthquake that struck Java in May. That support includes £1 million for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to pay for the provision of emergency relief supplies. The rest of the money is being spent through various UN and non-governmental organisations to provide medical supplies and services, shelter and water and sanitation.
DFID recently committed a further £5 million for the longer-term reconstruction of the area of Java affected by the earthquake. DFID is now working with the Indonesian Government and other agencies to develop a plan to rebuild as quickly and as safely as possible, and to ensure that new buildings are suitably earthquake-resistant so as to avoid a future disaster of this scale.
DFID has not provided any assistance in the wake of the tsunami in Central and West Java because the Government of Indonesia has stated that it does not require international assistance. The Indonesian Minister of Peoples Welfare has provided 750 million Indonesian Rupiah (80 million US Dollars) to the local government in Ciasmis, West Java and
250 million Indonesian Rupiah (27 million US Dollars) to the local government in Cilacap, Central Java for their emergency response.
Hilary Benn: The UK channels most of its aid to Lebanon through the EC and the UN. The multilateral figures are based on UK core contributions to the EC and the UN. The UK has also provided some bilateral support to Lebanon, largely through the Small Grants scheme administered by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
|Multilateral (£ million)
|Bilateral, (£ million)
|Grants and other aid in kind
Over the last five years, DFID has also made significant contributions to Palestinian refugees in Lebanon including through the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) (£4.2 million this year). UNRWAs activities supporting mainly the basic needs of Palestinian refugees providing camp facilities, health, education and food aid and job creation activities.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what projects his Department is funding in (a) Sudan, (b) Lebanon, (c) Israel and (d) Syria; and if he will make a statement. 
UN-managed Common Humanitarian Fund, plus support for UN sector co-ordination
Humanitarian programmes of Non Governmental Organisations
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
World Bank-managed Multi Donor Trust Funds (National and South), plus consultancy support
Basic Services Fund for Southern Sudan
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP): Local Government Recovery project
Safety, Security and Access to Justice programme (Southern Sudan)
Christian Aid: National Strategy
Capacity Building for Government of Southern Sudan
UNICEF: Support for Strengthening Water Sector Capacity in Southern Sudan
Malaria Consortium National Response
Ockenden International: Partnership for Peace
Capacity building for Debt Management
Rift Valley Institute
GOAL: Female Literacy and Empowerment
UNDP: Strategic Partnership Arrangement
Support for UN/ World Bank Darfur needs assessment
BBC World Service Trust: Darfur Lifeline Radio
Tufts Institute: Research on livelihoods in Darfur
PACT: Southern Sudanese Pre-Interim Transition to Peace
UNDP : Support for Demobilisation, Disarmament and Reintegration ( DDR)
Security Sector Adviser
International Military Advisers Team
Peace Building Fund
Support for East Sudan Talks
Support for Africa Union information campaign
Support for the Africa Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS)
Responding to the humanitarian crisis in Sudan, and working to underpin the Comprehensive and the
Darfur Peace Agreements are among DFID's top priorities. This is reflected in the projects that DFID is supporting.
DFID does not fund any projects in Israel. The Global Conflict Prevention Pool (GCPP), run jointly by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Ministry of Defence and DFID, is funding the following projects in or involving Israel:
Peace Now Settlement Watch
Ir AminAdvocacy project on the status of Jerusalem
Economic Co-operation FoundationGaza Disengagement