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Hilary Benn: The position of the Hamas Government fails to reflect Quartet principles. Accordingly, DFID has reviewed its projects to ensure that no aid passes through the Hamas Government or its Ministries. Further information is at

Without lasting peace, the prospects for economic development, reduction of poverty and improved quality of life for the Palestinians are slight. The objectives in DFID's Country Assistance Plan: more effective, accountable and inclusive PA institutions; more effective humanitarian and development assistance; and enhanced prospects for peace, are likely to remain valid. However, DFID will keep this under close review.

Chris Bryant: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what contributions the UK is making to the EU mechanism for funding to the Palestinians. [90143]

Hilary Benn: I have made available up to £12 million to the Temporary International Mechanism (TIM) to help meet Palestinians basic needs. When added to the UK share of the European Commission’s contribution, the total UK contribution will be about £25 million.

DFID announced its first contribution of £3 million to the TIM on 11 August 2006. This was to fund essential supplies in the health sector. In the Gaza Strip 14 per cent. of drugs from essential drugs lists are out of stock.

At the Stockholm Donor Conference on 1 September, I committed a second contribution of £3 million. This was for essential operation, maintenance and repair work to keep water, sanitation and electricity services running. I am now considering a further contribution.

Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what contributions the UK is making to EU mechanisms for funding to the Palestinians. [91610]

Hilary Benn: The UK has offered to contribute up to £12 million to the TIM and has so far committed £9 million of this to specific programmes. £3 million is providing drugs, medical equipment and other essential supplies to hospitals and clinics. Our second £3 million contribution will finance the operation, maintenance and repair of water, sanitation and electricity services in Gaza and the West Bank. The UK will make a third UK contribution to pay allowances to the poorest Palestinian Government workers, including teachers, who have suffered a severe loss in income over recent months. This is on top of the UK’s share of European Community funding through the TIM, which amounts to a further £9 million approximately.

Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when he will provide an answer to question (a) 85757 and (b) 85762, on Afghanistan, tabled on 12 July by the hon. Member for Forest of Dean. [89631]

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Hilary Benn: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answers I gave on (a) 24 July 2006, Official Report, column 997W, and (b) 24 July 2006, Official Report, column 986W.

Post-conflict Countries

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what funding he plans to make available in (a) 2006-07, (b) 2007-08 and (c) 2008-09 to post-conflict countries for (a) increased Government capacity to support reform outlined in peace agreements, (b) safe return of internally displaced persons and refugees, (c) compensation for victims, (d) maintenance of peace-keeping troops and (e) arresting and trying those suspected of war crimes and crimes against humanity. [88612]

Hilary Benn: Since 2001 much of the Government's expenditure related to areas highlighted in the question has been managed through the joint DFID, FCO and MOD conflict prevention pools; the Africa Conflict Prevention Pool (ACPP) and the Global Conflict Prevention Pool (GCPP). Both pools receive technical support from the Post Conflict Reconstruction Unit (PCRU). The PCRU is also a tri-departmental unit involving DFID, the FCO and MOD. The PCRU enables UK Government Departments and the military to work together to support countries emerging from conflict. It provides skilled civilian staff to help kick-start post-conflict recovery. It does not provide funds.

The pools support projects to improve the effectiveness of UK and international support for conflict prevention, through addressing long-term structural causes of conflict, managing regional and national tension and violence, and supporting post-conflict reconstruction where the UK can make a significant contribution, in particular Africa, Asia, the Balkans and the middle east.

Given these arrangements, providing a detailed break down of DFID contributions in the areas (a) to (e) would be difficult and would incur disproportionate costs. Further, they would effectively be limited to administrative costs incurred by DFID in fulfilling its management and oversight obligations. The overall pools budgets for the financial year 2006-07 are provided as follows for information.

Pool Overall pools budgets (£ million)

The Global Conflict Prevention Pool


Africa Conflict Prevention Pool


Allocations for 2007-08 for both the GCPP and the ACPP have yet to be agreed and as both are currently being assessed as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review it is difficult to provide forward figures for the financial years 2007-08 and 2008-09.

The Conflict Prevention Pools also fund the UK's contributions to the cost of international peacekeeping (d). In financial year 2006-07 up to £373.3 million has been made available to cover such costs. Due to the unpredictable nature of conflict and post-conflict situations, the funding for peacekeeping missions is
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determined on an annual basis and as such it is not possible to provide forward estimates for the financial years 2007-08 and 2008-09.

In some cases DFID provides earmarked funds to the areas in question directly through our country programmes. Where this is the case, and where it is possible to break the expenditure down according to categories (a) to (e) in the question, such expenditure is reported as follows by country. In some cases it is difficult to disaggregate funds in the manner requested. Where this is the case an overall expenditure figure is provided.


DFID will disburse approximately £102 million in bilateral assistance to Afghanistan in 2006-07. The forecast expenditure for 2007-08 is £113 million. There are not yet forecast figures for 2008-09.

The focus of this aid is on three areas: (i) livelihoods, (ii) rural assistance and (iii) state-building; the latter comprising roughly 10 per cent. of annual expenditure. State-building expenditure supports efforts to increase Government capacity in order for the Afghan Government to meet its commitments outlined in the Interim Afghan National Development Strategy and Afghan Compact, both of which were signed at the London Conference in January 2006. DFID Afghanistan does not fund directly areas (b), (c), (d) or (e) outlined in the question. However through DFID's partnership arrangements with UN agencies, international financing institutions and civil society organisation funding does indirectly address areas (b), (d) and (e). Disaggregated figures are not readily available.

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

DFID has supported a number of initiatives in the DRC aimed at building the capacity of the transition Government in support of the reforms outlined in the peace agreement. This has been achieved by building capacity in the ministries and transition institutions to bring about the first democratic election in DRC which was the centre piece of the global and inclusive accords. Support has totalled some £4.5 million. This includes:

Amount of support (£)

Support to the elections trust fund

2 million.

Support to the Electoral Institute of Southern Africa for capacity building, including support to the Independent Electoral Commission


Support to the Elections Disputes Project


Support to Transitions Institutions


Technical assistance for elections security


The vast majority of DFID DRC's contributions to humanitarian assistance are channelled through the DRC Humanitarian Pooled Fund. The DFID contribution to this fund for this financial year (2006-07) is £1.8 million. The proposed contribution for the next financial year (2007-08) is £0.9 million. Beyond this it is difficult to provide figures, though we are likely to continue to support the fund. Based on disbursements to date, approximately 6 per cent. of the funds have been allocated to the return and reintegration of refugees.


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DFID's £45 million Iraq programme for 2006-07 focuses on economic reform; infrastructure; improving power and water services in the south; governance and institution building in Baghdad and the south; and support for civil society and political participation. Projects relevant to the question include the Governorate Capacity Building Project (£20.5 million over three years), support to the centre of Government Programme (£13.25 million over two years) and support to the Political Participation Fund (£5 million over two years).

DFID also continues to work through the international system, as a member of the donor core group, and as a major contributor to the UN and World Bank Trust Funds for Iraq. DFID is working with the Iraqi Government, the UN, the World Bank, the US and other donors to achieve a more coordinated and Iraqi-led reconstruction and development effort.


On (a), DFID's current efforts are focused on supporting the re-establishment of law and order institutions in Somalia. We plan to commit £620,000 to the UNDP Rule of Law and Security programme in 2006-07. Much of this programme is focused on Somaliland and Puntland, as both are more stable regions with relatively better established institutions. Within the framework of the transitional federal charter for Somalia, DFID is directing its efforts at the establishment of inclusive safety, security and access to justice institutions.

On (b), DFID has committed £800,000 to UNHCR to support the integration and settlement of internally displaced people (IDPs) and refugees. However in the long term, safe return on a larger scale depends on satisfactory resolution of the circumstances that have driven people from their homes in the first place. Our efforts in the meantime are directed to helping to achieve these conditions, for example by providing support to the Transitional Federal Government in Somalia.


Sudan's framework for this financial year and next is £109.8 million. A substantial element of these funds will be used to support most of the activities listed in the question over the next three years, but given the need for rapid and flexible response in post-conflict countries, it is not possible to state with any certainty how much will be allocated to each sector. However, no DFID funding is used for (e).

Central funding to specialised UN Agencies

DFID has so far contributed an estimated £26 million to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) this financial year (2006-07). Within this total, DFID contributed £875,000 to support the successful return of 370,000 Liberian IDPs and £1 million in DRC to support their work with IDP returns in that country.

A large amount of the funding to UNHCR is un-earmarked (£17 million) to allow UNHCR flexibility over use of funds according to the greatest need among their programmes. We are therefore unable to specify with certainty what DFID funds have been used for returns programmes. It is difficult to predict how much funding will be needed in the international
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community for the safe return of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees in future years as it is difficult to predict the resolution of crises that have forced people to flee their homes in the first place.


Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many (a) questionnaires, (b) statistical inquiries and (c) investigations have been carried out wholly or partly at public expense on behalf of or by his Department in each year since 1997; and what the (i) nature, (ii) purpose and (iii) cost was in each case. [83175]

Mr. Thomas: DFID contributes funding (either in whole or in part) to surveys, investigations and research undertaken in developing countries or on development issues. These activities cover a wide range of topics and may be national or local, conducted by the state National Statistics Institute, research institutes or by NGOs. It is not possible within proportionate cost to identify all the surveys that DFID has funded over the period in question.


Mr. Touhig: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much EU aid has been allocated to childcare and related issues in Romania in each of the last five years; and what audit system has been put in place to ensure that funds are spent as intended. [89645]

Mr. Thomas: Reform of Romania's child welfare system was a priority for the European Community's Phare pre-accession programme over the period 1999 to 2003. The “Children First” programme was launched with a €25 million financial allocation for Child Protection provided under the Phare 1999 programme. Resources of €10 million in 2001, €13 million in 2002 and €11.5 million in 2003 (out of a total of €248.9 million, €265.5 million and €265.5 million respectively for Phare's Romania allocations) were committed to support local authorities to make the transition from old style residential care facilities to providing a range of child protection services including foster care. This programme is due to complete soon. From 2004 the programme has shifted to focus on promoting the social inclusion of the Roma population, notably improving access to education.

The European Commission's internal audit function reviews risk management and systems and follows up on recommendations for improvements. The European Court of Auditors provides an independent audit of the collection and spending of European Union funds. The operations of all agencies may also be subject to spot checks by an outside auditor contracted by the Commission.


Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment his Department has made of (a) the availability of food and (b) the (i) economic, (ii) human rights and (iii)
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medical situation in Chechnya; and if he will make a statement. [89574]

Mr. Thomas: To a large extent DFID relies on the UN organisations, including the World Food Programme (WFP), working in the North Caucasus to provide information on the humanitarian situation in Chechnya. An independent, comprehensive assessment of food security and nutrition in Chechnya and Ingushetia, commissioned by the WFP, is due to report later this month. Informed by a large number of household surveys, this will cover food security, nutrition, health services, shelter and economic activity in both republics. It will be used by WFP to plan their strategy for the next two years with a view to the phasing down of humanitarian activities and a possible increased focus on transition and rehabilitation.

Russia is signed up to the Council of Europe's Convention on Human Rights and is bound by these obligations and decisions of the European Court of Human Rights. The FCO, through the British Embassy in Moscow, monitors the human rights situation in the North Caucasus and raises specific concerns with the Russian Authorities as well as through international organisations; these are detailed in the FCO's Annual Reports on Human Rights.


Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer to Question 87470, on Somalia, what assessment he has made of the impact of reported incursions by Ethiopian forces into Somalia on the humanitarian and security situation in that country; and if he will make a statement. [90518]

Hilary Benn: I have seen media reports of an Ethiopian military presence in Somalia, but we have had no official confirmation of the size or purpose of such forces. However, at this sensitive time, when Somali parties are in talks under the auspices of the League of Arab States, any military activity by internal or external forces, which could undermine the Khartoum process or bring further suffering to the Somali people, is highly undesirable. Conflict kills, injures and displaces innocent civilians and results inevitably in calls for humanitarian relief which would be better put to rebuilding Somalia.

State Aid Agencies (Co-operation)

Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what plans he has for increased co-operation with other state aid agencies in relation to the objectives set out in the White Paper. [90017]

Hilary Benn: The White Paper on International Development published this year sets out the UK commitment to increase aid to 0.7 per cent. of gross national income by 2013. It describes how DFID aims to improve aid effectiveness by supporting partner country ownership of development and by working more closely with other donors.

DFID has already worked with other donors to increase cooperation at a country level in Tanzania and
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Zambia, and is currently working with the Government and other donors to improve working arrangements in Uganda. The world’s first fully harmonised joint donor office opened earlier this year in Juba, Southern Sudan and combines the bilateral programmes of the UK, Netherlands, Norway, Denmark and Sweden into one operation.

DFID is also working closely with the European Commission to establish and improve joint strategies in a number of African countries and aims to participate in multi-donor arrangements in all countries where it has a bi-lateral aid programme by 2010.

Achievement of White Paper objectives also requires that donors act and provide funds in ways that simplify aid delivery to meet the needs of partner countries and that the performance by the UN, World Bank and regional development banks is improved. DFID is working with other donors to reform the support to the UN by pooling funds at country levels, and is pushing for a stronger role for the OECD development assistance committee to monitor and hold donors, countries, multi-laterals and the UN to account on meeting their commitments.

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