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Hilary Benn: Afghanistan is one of the poorest countries in the world. It is off track to meet all millennium development goals. Years of conflict and insecurity have denied basic services that we take for granted, like health care and schooling; and, one in four Afghan children dies before their fifth birthday. The reconstruction effort in Afghanistan is a long- term initiative which will be reliant upon the commitment of donor agencies for many years yet.
The Government of Afghanistan recognised in the 2005 millennium development goal report Vision 2020 that Afghanistan is unlikely to meet any of the millennium development goals by 2015. In light of this it was agreed that Afghanistan should adapt the global timelines and targets to make them meaningful in the Afghan context. The Government therefore extended the time period for achieving the targets to 2020; revised a number of the targets to make them more relevant to Afghanistan and added a ninth goal on enhancing security.
There has been progress towards these goals since 2001: presidential and parliamentary elections were held. Six million children have returned to school, over a third of them girls. 13,000 girls and boys primary and secondary schools have been built and 15 teacher training centres have been established. 35,000 lives have been saved from routine immunisations which our children are given as a matter of course.
In 2005-06 the legal economy is estimated to have grown by 14 per cent. 3.5 million refugees have returned home. Major road rehabilitation is connecting major urban centres and Afghanistan with its neighbours. Reliable electricity supply is being restored. The telecommunications sector is growing fast, connecting businesses and people in Afghanistan.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the written statement of 17 October 2006, Official Report, column 51WS, who will be eligible to draw down from the Juba Initiative Fund. 
Hilary Benn: The Juba Initiative Fund is directly managed by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs who have international staff based in Juba. They will be responsible for making all payments upon receipt of invoices and drawing down resources as required from a UN bank account.
The fund will be used to help pay for a Secretariat led by the Vice President of Southern Sudan and a Cessation of Hostilities Monitoring Team. Costs of the Secretariat include the food and accommodation costs of the delegates at the talks. The UN will pay the cost of accommodation and food directly to the hotels that are being used and no one will receive any cash payments.
Hilary Benn: DFIDs programmes in South Asia operate in support of national government initiatives to reduce poverty and income inequality. Our programmes to do so in Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan are set out in Country Assistance Plans agreed with the national Governments. The total of DFID bilateral assistance in 2005-06 to these countries was £437 million.
Programmes to increase health and education outcomes for the poorest and most remote communities, with a particular focus on improving the health of mothers and children;
Rural livelihoods projects to improve and diversify agricultural incomes;
Support for governance reforms to improve the effectiveness of public expenditure management, leading to the allocation of further resources targeting the poorest;
Projects aimed at making improvements in the poorest urban areas;
Programmes to improve access to water and sanitation facilities;
Partnerships with agencies such as the United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to achieve sustainable and equitable human development.
Following are tables which indicate the traffic flows between A14/A11/A1304 Waterhall Interchange (J38) to A14/A134 St Saviours Interchange (J43) and A14/A134 St Saviours Interchange (J43) to Felixstowe (J62).
|A14 Waterhall to A134 St Saviours Interchange|
|Average daily traffic flow( 1)|
|n/a = not available.|
(1) Daily traffic flow is 24-hour annual average daily total from automatic traffic counter at Risby.
(2) Calculated value.
(3) To date.
|A14 St Saviours Interchange to Felixstowe|
|Average daily traffic flow( 1)|
|(1) Daily traffic flow is 24-hour annual average daily total from automatic traffic counter at Ipswich southern bypass.|
(2) To date.
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will take steps to ensure that the level of security checking required for airside airport staff by his Department is the same as that required for Criminal Records Bureau checks. 
The level of security checking for airside staff exceeds that which a Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) check on its own could provide. The Department mandates a regime which involves the confirmation of identity via an acceptable document, such as a valid passport, and verification of references for the past five years, including any gaps. This is supported by a check of unspent criminal records, available from the Criminal Records Bureaus equivalent agency in Scotland. Additionally, airport
staff who undertake a security duty, such as searching and screening passengers and baggage, are subject to national security vetting to counter-terrorist check level.
Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to his Answer of 13 September 2006, Official Report, columns 2265-66W, on terrorism, when procedures to deal with a terrorist attack were last exercised at (a) Heathrow, (b) Gatwick, (c) Stansted and (d) London City airport. 
(a) Heathrow on 7 July 2005 in response to the events in London on that day. Previously, the airport also undertook a large scale, multi agency desk-top exercise on 14 January 2004;
(b) Gatwick on 23 November 2005;
(c) Stansted on 9 March 2006;
(d) London City Airport in November 2005.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will take steps to introduce a right of appeal against a decision of a local council to refuse a request for a blue badge for parking concessions for people with severe walking difficulties. 
Gillian Merron: The Department is currently finalising new improved guidance to local authorities on the blue badge scheme. This will include strong recommendations for internal procedures to deal with appeals against a local authoritys decision not to issue a badge. Specifically, it will recommend detailed written explanation of the grounds for refusal and an appeals system that is clear, straightforward and fair and not in itself a deterrent to applying for a badge.
The following table shows data for 1985-86 to 2005 on the percentage of rural households
that are within (a) 6 minutes walk and (b) 13 minutes walk of a bus stop with a service at least once an hour.
|Percentage of households within (a) 6 minutes and (b) 13 minutes of a bus stop with a service at least once an hour: Great Britain.|
|Percentage of households|
|6 minutes or less||13 minutes or less( 1)|
|(1) Includes households within 6 minutes walk.|
(2) Figures for 1995-97 onwards are based on weighted data.
DfT National Travel Survey
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