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Teaching (Foreign Languages)

Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many and what percentage of (a) primary and (b) secondary school children in the East Riding of Yorkshire have been taught at least one foreign language in each of the last nine years; and if he will make a statement. [89260]

Jim Knight: The Department does not collect data on the number of primary school children learning languages. However, the most recent Headspace survey indicated that 56 per cent. of all primary schools in England were offering language learning programmes to their pupils. The Department is able to provide details only on the number and percentage of pupils
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who were entered for a GCSE or A level foreign language and not those who were taught a foreign language in their time at secondary school. These figures were provided in the combined response to PQs 81445 and 81446.

To support primary language learning programmes in the East Riding of Yorkshire, the local authority was allocated £144,615.16 via the standards fund in 2006-07. The figure is made up of a lump sum of £80,000 and a pro rata amount for the added number of Key Stage 2 pupils within the authority.

Universities (Research)

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will make a statement on his plans to implement a new method of research funding for universities; and whom he has consulted thereon. [89916]

Bill Rammell: On 13 June, my Department published consultation proposals for the future assessment and funding of higher education research. The proposals are available online at and anyone who wishes to may respond to them. The closing date for responses is 13 October.

International Development

Departmental Agency Staff

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what average hourly rate his Department paid to employment agencies for agency staff in each year since 1999, broken down by agency. [89577]

Mr. Thomas: DFID periodically engages temporary staff, both administrative and professional, through employment agencies. Only some information on agency hourly rates is held centrally—for those agencies who supply DFID regularly. The average hourly rate for these agencies, who supply mainly junior administrative grades, is as follows:

Grade C2

Grade C1

Information on average hourly rates for the years before 2005-06 is not readily available.

Other agencies are used on an ad hoc basis but information about these agencies is not held centrally and could be secured only at disproportionate cost.

DFID will be joining an existing framework arrangement, set up by the Prison Service, this year and once this comes into force information will be more readily available.

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Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make a statement on UK aid to Armenia. [92515]

Mr. Thomas: DFID's bilateral programme in Armenia is focused on supporting public administration and public financial management reforms and regional development. We are also working jointly with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development to help the Government develop a financing strategy for the water sector. We are supporting projects, funded from a multilateral trust fund set up by the World Bank and DFID, to rehabilitate communal heating systems and to provide affordable water and wastewater services for poor communities. Our bilateral programme allocation in 2006-7 is £3.7 million.

Since 2003 the UK has provided £3.2 million to support conflict resolution. These funds are provided from the joint FCO/DFID/MOD Global Conflict Prevention Pool (GCPP).The Consortium Initiative, comprising three international non-government organisations, is managing a programme which aims to help resolve the dispute over Nagorno Karabakh. In view of Armenia's achieving middle income country status in January 2006 we have informed the Government of Armenia that DFID's bilateral programme will end in 2008. Thereafter, DFID support will be provided through our share of the programmes of the multilateral agencies. In 2004, the most recent year for which figures are available, the UK's imputed share of these programmes was £3.4 million.


Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what UK aid programmes for Bangladesh relate to governance and human rights; and if he will make a statement. [90152]

Mr. Thomas: Better governance is at the heart of DFID's programme in Bangladesh because it is key to delivering better services such as water, health and education to poor people. In turn, human rights—particularly the right to education, the right to water, the right to health and the right to security—can only be protected if governance improves.

Within the DFID programme a number of activities are specifically aimed at improving governance and human rights:

In partnership with Government of Bangladesh

(1) The “Governance Instrument(1)” is a programme which supports the Government-led anti-corruption programmes—initially in education and water supply—leading to improved governance and better quality services for poor people.

(2) Managing at the Top (MATT) 2 is a programme which promotes reform and builds management and administrative capacity within senior levels of the Bangladesh civil service.

(3) Police Reform Programme in partnership with UNDP, is helping put in place policing which is more responsive to the needs of poor and vulnerable people.
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(4) Financial Management Reform Programme is strengthening public financial management systems in the Ministry of Finance and selected line ministries, so they are better able to provide accurate and timely financial information to Government policy makers and others.

(5) Reforms in Revenue Administration is building the capacity of the National Board of Revenue to administer tax legislation, particularly with regard to VAT and Direct Taxation.

In partnership with Civil Society

(1) Manusher Jonno Human Rights and Governance Programme is building the capacity of poor men, women and children to demand their rights and seek more accountable government.

(2) SAMATA is a non-government organisation which helps poor people secure land rights.

(3) Nijera Kori Social Mobilisation is an advocacy programme which promotes greater dialogue between the political elite and civil society, so that poor women and men can better understand and take part in decision-making processes.

(4) Transparency International, Bangladesh promotes greater transparency in the public, non profit and private sectors.

(5) Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust provides access to legal services, and promotes increased access to justice for poor Bangladeshis.

In partnership with Media/Political Governance

(1) BBC Sanglap is a series of debates on the BBC World Service Bangla service which provides one of the few spaces for open political debate in Bangladesh.

(2) Election activities. Elections are due to take place in January 2007. DFID is supporting civil society to undertake election monitoring, and prevention and monitoring of election violence.

DFID is committed to helping Bangladesh to become a more effective state, working with Government, civil society and citizens to improve governance and security; increase economic growth; improve public services and tackle climate change. The programme has a particular focus on protecting the rights of the very poorest.

We are in the process of finalising our new Country Assistance Plan for Bangladesh (2007 to 2013), at the heart of which will be support to improved governance (in line with the priorities set out in our recent White Paper).

Central Emergency Response Fund

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what timetable he has set for the fulfilment of the Government's pledge to provide $1 for every $3 other donors have committed to the UN central emergency response fund in addition to the £40 million already paid. [90299]

Hilary Benn: The commitment to provide an additional UK contribution to the CERF of $1 for every $3 provided by others is triggered once the total amount contributed by other donors exceeds $210
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million in the calendar year. At present, this total is $202 million. If it reaches $210 million by the end of December, our additional contribution will be triggered.

In January 2007, the second year of the CERF will start. The UK will again provide £40 million in line with our multi-year commitment of an additional £120 million over the next three years. If other donors provide more than $210 million next calendar year, our additional input will be triggered. We hope that this formula will remain an incentive for others to contribute to the CERF.

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer to question 87467, on the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), what estimate he has made of when the CERF will run out of funds if no further replenishment is forthcoming. [90516]

Hilary Benn: The main factors affecting the rate at which the CERF is used are the number of humanitarian crises occurring at any given time, and the extent to which donors are contributing additional funds. Six months after its launch, over half of the CERF funds have already been committed by the UN’s Emergency Relief Co-ordinator to support humanitarian crises across the world. In the unlikely event that other donors did not contribute for a second year to the Fund, we would estimate that the funds might run out in the second quarter of next year.

We are working with the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and other like-minded donors to encourage others to continue to contribute to the CERF on a regular, and preferably multi-year, basis, so that it is constantly replenished. To assist in this process, OCHA is planning to hold the first donor replenishment conference on 7 December.

In addition to the initial £40 million commitment, the UK has committed a further £120 million to the CERF over the next three years.

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer to question 87467, on the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), whether there is a timetable for further funding announcements from (a) the UK and (b) UN members. [90517]

Hilary Benn: On 7 June 2006, I announced a further package of UK funding for the CERF, amounting to £120 million (£40 million per year) for the three years 2007-09. During this time, we will monitor closely the use and effectiveness of the CERF, and a decision on future UK funding will be taken in due course in the light of this.

The UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which manages the CERF, plans to hold annual replenishment conferences at which donors may pledge further contributions to the CERF. This does not preclude announcements of further funding for the CERF at any other time. OCHA are tentatively proposing holding the first donor replenishment conference on 7 December this year.

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Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many (a) internally displaced people in and (b) refugees from Colombia there have been in each year since 2002; and if he will make a statement. [89576]

Mr. Thomas: It is difficult to establish accurate numbers in each year since 2002. According to the Colombian Government, an estimated 1,148,000 people were internally displaced over the period 2000-2003. The Colombian non-government organisation, Consultancy for Human Rights and Development (CODHES), reported 1,247,000 internally displaced people over the same period. CODHES reported some 250,000 displacements in 2004 and similar numbers in 2005. According to Colombian Government figures, the total number of internally displaced people in Colombia is 2.5-3.0 million. NGO estimates suggest the number could be up to 3.3 million.

Estimated numbers of refugees from Colombia are not available by year. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that there are currently 250,000 displaced Colombians in Ecuador (37,000 refugee and asylum seekers), 12,500 in Panama (2,200 refugee and asylum seekers) and 206,300 in Venezuela (6,300 refugee and asylum seekers).

Commission for Africa

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether the Government are on track to implement the recommendations made by the Commission for Africa. [89942]

Hilary Benn: The Commission for Africa report set out a comprehensive set of recommendations for both Africa and the developed world for tackling poverty on the continent. In March 2006, we published a detailed report on the UK’s contribution to taking forward these recommendations for and delivery of G8 commitments. The report is in the Libraries of both Houses, on DFID’s website ( and was sent directly to all Members of Parliament.

Many of the Commission for Africa recommendations were taken up at the G8 Summit at Gleneagles and turned into commitments. We published a booklet in June 2006—“G8 Gleneagles: One Year On: Turning Talk into Action”—that highlighted 12 areas, from aid and debt cancellation to fighting disease and promoting business, across which G8 commitments are being followed through (while recognising that much remains to be done). We also produce monthly progress reports against a
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“Gleneagles Implementation Plan for Africa”, which sets out international milestones that need to be met to stay on track to deliver G8 commitments. This is also in the Libraries of both Houses and is available on DFID’s website.

The UK’s new White Paper on “Eliminating World Poverty—Making Governance Work For the Poor” sets out what the UK will do with the international community to deliver the promises we made last year.

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 10 March 2006, Official Report, columns 1800-1801W, on the Commission for Africa, what meetings he has had with ministerial colleagues to monitor implementation of Commission for Africa and G8 commitments. [89963]

Hilary Benn: On 25 July, I chaired a meeting of ministerial colleagues across Whitehall which focused on delivery of G8 commitments, many of which were Commission for Africa recommendations. At this meeting, we agreed a set of milestones that we believe the international community need to meet by July 2007 to ensure we are on track to deliver G8 commitments. These milestones are included in the September update of the “Gleneagles Implementation Plan for Africa” which is deposited in the Libraries of both houses and available on DFID’s website (

I discussed with Cabinet colleagues the UK’s new White Paper on “Eliminating World Poverty—Making Governance Work For the Poor”, which sets out what the UK will do with the international community to deliver the promises we made last year. For example, during my visit to Mozambique with the Chancellor in April, we committed £8.5 billion over the next 10 years to support long-term education plans to help meet the target of getting all children into school by 2015. At the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Annual Meetings in Singapore in September, seventeen African countries reported substantial progress on developing these long term education plans.

Computer Equipment

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many (a) USB (i) flash drives and (ii) memory sticks, (b) compact discs, (c) DVD-ROM discs, (d) laptop computers, (e) external computers hard drives, (f) internal computer hard drives and (g) desktop computers were purchased for use in his Department in each month since March 2005. [88761]

Mr. Thomas: The number purchased by DFID centrally in the UK for this period are as follows:

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(a) USB memory devices (b) Compact discs (c) DVD-ROM discs (d) Laptop computers (e) External hard drives (f) Internal hard drives (g) Desktop computers

































































































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