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Table 2
Education Health
Percentage of DFID Bilateral Programme Percentage of GPEX Percentage of DFID Bilateral Programme Percentage of GPEX

2001-02

10

4

20

9

2002-03

10

4

20

9

2003-04

12

5

21

9

2004-05

13

5

22

9

2005-06

10

4

22

8


Political reform Infrastructure
Percentage of DFID Bilateral Programme Percentage of GPEX Percentage of DFID Bilateral Programme Percentage of GPEX

2001-02

8

3

6

3

2002-03

5

2

5

2

2003-04

12

5

6

2

2004-05

9

4

4

2

2005-06

10

4

5

2

Source: SRSG Database

Cote d'Ivoire

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assistance the UK Government has offered to those affected by the spill of toxic liquid in Cote d’Ivoire. [97897]

Hilary Benn: In response to this regrettable incident, the UK offered assistance through the European Commission Civil Protection Mechanism, but as both France and the United Nations sent in assessment teams, our assistance was not required. The Ivorian authorities have since engaged an international waste management company for the clean-up operation.

Although our support was not needed in this instance, DFID has provided over £5 million in humanitarian assistance since internal conflict broke out in 2002 to meet basic health and protection needs, and to assist with planning in the event of further deterioration in security.

Departmental IT

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which of his Department’s databases are (a) wholly and (b) partly operated by external organisations or individuals; and which organisations and individuals own those databases. [97771]


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Mr. Thomas: The following databases are operated by external organisations on behalf of DFID:

In addition, DFID contributes data on a regular basis to the international AIDA directory of development projects and activities operated by the Development Gateway Foundation.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which databases operated by his Department are located (a) wholly and (b) partly outside the UK; and where each of those databases and parts of databases is located. [97772]

Mr. Thomas: DFID contributes data on a regular basis to the international AIDA directory of development projects and activities operated by the Development Gateway Foundation in Philadelphia, USA.

DFID has a number of small databases which are maintained for internal operational purposes in its overseas offices. No central catalogue of these databases is maintained, and it could not be created without incurring disproportionate cost.

Departmental Vacancies

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what proportion of vacancies in his Department in the last 12 months required candidates to have at least a grade C in (a) English and (b) mathematics GCSE. [96756]

Mr. Thomas: In the last 12 months, one recruitment campaign for junior administrative posts required applicants to have a minimum of 5 GCSE/GCE subjects at grade A-C, one of which had to be in (a) English and (b) Mathematics. This represents 2.43 per cent. of all advertised vacancies.

Development Assistance

Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what criteria are applied in assessing the costs of overheads in departmentally-administered development assistance. [98040]

Hilary Benn: DFID has separate budgets for Programme and Administration costs. The Administration budget provides for the cost of managing development assistance and covers pay, accommodation, travel and other costs of DFID staff in the UK and overseas, and the costs of consultants supplementing DFID’s management capacity. Administration costs are subject to efficiency targets and kept under review to make sure they are value for money.


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Development Goals

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which countries he plans to assist to achieve the 2015 development goals. [98071]

Hilary Benn: DFID assists many countries to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. DFID’s efforts are, however, focused on 16 key countries in Africa and nine key countries in Asia. The focus countries in Africa are Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The focus countries in Asia are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan and Vietnam.

Details of all the countries DFID is assisting can be found in “Statistics in International Development”, published on 26 October 2006 on the DFID website www.dfid.gov.uk/pubs/files/sid2006/sid06-full.pdf, table 12, pages 65-101. Hard copies will be available in the House of Commons Library shortly.

International GCSE

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether his Department recognises the International GCSE as an acceptable substitute for a GCSE for the purposes of recruitment. [96728]

Mr. Thomas: The bulk of DFID recruitment is for advisory, specialist or senior managerial roles. A prerequisite for these posts is a university education and relevant degree. DFID may recognise the international GCSE as an acceptable substitute for a GCSE for the purposes of recruitment to junior administrative roles. The literacy and numeracy of new recruits to these posts would be tested using standard short answer tests.

Nepal

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the food situation in Nepal; and what further assistance the UK Government is considering. [97898]

Mr. Thomas: DFID is monitoring the situation jointly with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and other international bodies.

DFID Nepal has allocated a total of £300,000 for support. Of this, £34,000 is currently being used by the World Food Programme (WFP) to buy and distribute emergency seed supplies to affected areas. £30,000 will be used to support a detailed food assessment by Government of Nepal and UN agencies in November. The remaining £236,000 will be spent on food aid in accordance with the recommendations of that food assessment and as agreed with OCHA.


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North Korea

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what representations he has made to the (a) World Food Programme, (b) Japanese Government and (c) South Korean Government on the food situation in North Korea. [97899]

Mr. Thomas: I have not made any such representations.

Palestine

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make a statement on the temporary international mechanism for aid for Palestine. [98344]

Hilary Benn: Following the Hamas victory in the Palestinian Legislative Council elections in January this year, the Quartet (US, EU, UN and Russia) set out three principles for support to the Palestinian Government to continue. These were that the Palestinian Government should renounce violence, recognise Israel and accept previous agreements and obligations, including the Roadmap.

In the light of the Hamas government’s failure to meet these conditions, the European Union has set up a Temporary International Mechanism (TIM) to provide direct support to the Palestinian people. This mechanism avoids channelling funds through the Palestinian Government. DFID intends to contribute up to £12 million to the TIM, of which £9 million has so far been committed to specific programmes. The European Community is contributing €121.5 million. Other European donors are also contributing. A total of €70.5 million has so far been disbursed through the TIM.

The TIM is providing several types of direct support. Since it was established 97,000 Palestinians have received needs-based allowances. These allowances have supported health care workers, teachers and the most vulnerable citizens in Palestinian society. Over 2.4 million litres of fuel have been provided for emergency generators at water pumping stations, waste water facilities, hospitals and health centres in Gaza. This has enabled essential services to continue after damage to Gaza’s only power station in an Israeli air strike. DFID funding is contributing to allowances for poor Palestinians, health supplies, and to repair, maintenance and running costs for electricity, water and sanitation services.

Northern Ireland

Alternative Energy Sources

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what financial resources are being directed towards research in Northern Ireland to investigate alternative energy sources. [97694]

Maria Eagle: In the past four financial years total funding in excess of £2.8 million has been directed by
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Government Departments and agencies at projects investigating alternative energy sources. This excludes consideration of higher education research funding provided to universities as such funding is not directed towards specific areas of investigation.

From April 2006 these financial resources have been augmented by the £59.2 million Environment and Renewable Energy Fund which has a significant element devoted to renewables related research and demonstration.

Arts Production

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what his assessment is of the impact of the pledge made by the Arts Minister in a press release on 3 August 2005 to ensure that arts and creativity are recognised as particularly valuable contributors to the Northern Ireland economy, to education and to the community on (a) community relations in Northern Ireland, (b) revenue raised, (c) job creation and (d) Northern Ireland’s education system. [97282]

Maria Eagle: There has been good progress since August 2005 to ensure that the value of arts and culture is recognised in:

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps have been taken to implement the Arts Minister’s pledges made in his press release on 3 August 2005 (a) to encourage the commitment of people involved in arts in Northern Ireland, (b) to put arts and creativity among his key priorities and (c) to ensure that arts and creativity are recognised as particularly valuable contributors to the Northern Ireland economy, to education and to the community. [97285]

Maria Eagle: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply given today to question 97282 and would add that the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure has been active in encouraging commitment in the sector through involvement in a range of initiatives and events including:


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