|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
2. The requested expenditure for the Health Estates Agency is not available, as it is included in the overall figures for the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety. Information about DHSSPS expenditure was provided in the reply to PQ06-4475.
Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps he has taken to encourage electricity customers in Northern Ireland to use EcoEnergy; and if he will make a statement. 
Maria Eagle: Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) has actively promoted Eco Energy since its launch in 1998. In addition to information provided in bills and direct mail campaigns, NIE encourages customers to sign up to Eco Energy at key events throughout the year including Balmoral Show, Winter Fair, and the Green Living Fair. In promoting Eco Energy NIE also works closely with other partner organisations such as Action Renewables and the Energy Saving Trust Advice Centre who include information on this option in their advice packs.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what percentage of those pensioners eligible in each health trust area in Northern Ireland had received an influenza vaccination as of 30 November; and what steps he is taking to increase the vaccination of eligible pensioners. 
Since the commencement of the 2006-07 influenza vaccination programme at the start of October, nearly half of those aged over 65 years had been vaccinated by 31 October. The following table gives details for each health board area.
|Health board||Uptake rate of 65+ population receiving influenza vaccine|
|1. Percentages collated by Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre for NI provided from data collected from GP practices.|
2. At the time of collating the above figures, 9 per cent. of all practices are still to forward their data returns, therefore the actual uptake is higher than these figures suggest.
3. The uptake rate for 30 November will be available mid-December
The influenza vaccination programme in Northern Ireland is well established and now in its sixth year. The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Health liaised with voluntary and community organisations for older people to raise awareness of the launch of the campaign, and this year the launch coincided with Age Awareness Week. Those eligible for immunisation receive a personal invite from their GP along with a detailed information leaflet. In addition, many HSS Trusts, GPs and community pharmacists take action to increase uptake at a local level.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many complaints were made to the Northern Ireland ombudsman about each Northern Ireland Government Department or agency in each of the last five years; and how many of those complaints were (a) upheld and (b) dismissed. 
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what percentage of the pensioner population in Northern Ireland has been lifted out of poverty in each of the last five years; and what steps he is taking to increase these figures. 
Mr. Hanson: Data on pensioner poverty are available only for the years 2002-03, 2003-04 and 2004-05. Between the first and second years the proportion of the pensioner population in poverty increased by an estimated 2.8 per cent.; this equates to approximately 8,000 pensioners. On the same measure between 2003-04 and 2004-05 there was no change.
Lifetime Opportunities Governments Anti-Poverty and Social Inclusion Strategy, launched on 13 November includes a commitment to work towards the elimination of poverty and social exclusion in Northern Ireland by 2020.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how long it took for the police to arrive at the entrance of the Great Hall, Stormont Parliament building following the security alert on 24 November; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hanson: The security alert at Parliament buildings on 24 November 2006 began at 10.55 am. Security staff in Parliament buildings made an emergency call at 11.11 am to the PSNI Operational System requesting assistance.
6. Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the key elements required to ensure the success of a campaign to reduce HIV infection in the poorest countries. 
Hilary Benn: To reduce HIV infection and fight AIDS we need: strong political leadership; honesty and openness; universal access to care, support and treatment; special help for children orphaned and affected by AIDS; research and development into vaccines and microbicides; and more money, doctors, nurses, clinics and drugs.
Mr. Thomas: DFID has committed £123 million to the Indian Governments second National AIDS Control Programme, which ends in March 2007. Our money, through the National AIDS Control Organisation, is helping to fund prevention campaigns with high risk groups in eight states. DFID also supports a national AIDS resource centre, condom promotion, mass media campaigns, and a challenge fund for NGOs.
Mr. Thomas: The UK follows closely developments in the humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka, including through visits by British officials to areas affected by the conflict. The British Government have raised serious concerns about the fragile situation and the need for all parties to the conflict to ensure regular and sustained access for humanitarian assistance.
In September, the British Government contributed $1 million to the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross to help provide humanitarian assistance to some 200,000 people displaced by the recent upsurge of violence.
Aid for Trade aims to enable people in developing countries to trade their way out of poverty. It can be extremely effective. For example, DFID is providing £3 million to Lesotho for tax reforms that have already resulted in a 204 per cent. increase in revenue collection. UK policy is to work for
substantial, monitorable increases in global Aid for Trade. In December 2005 donors committed to increasing spending to $4 billion by 2010, and agreed recommendations on how to do so effectively at the World Trade Organisation in October 2006. We will continue to work for full implementation of these commitments.
an International Centre against HIV/AIDS in Brazil has been established, providing technical support to countries in the region.
the Inter-American Development Bank has changed its loans to be more accessible to small enterprises, including cooperatives;
the World Bank has engaged with a much wider group of actors in preparing and distributing its analyses of development potential in Peru and Bolivia.
In addition, DFID has commissioned from the Overseas Development Institute an independent evaluation of the performance of the regional assistance plan, and its recommendations are expected in January.
11. John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what progress has been made on ensuring that schools and clinics in the poorest areas in Nigeria have sufficient resources to employ teachers and nurses. 
Hilary Benn: There remain significant weaknesses in basic service provision in the north of Nigeria and health and education indicators remain poor. DFIDs assistance is designed to help the Nigerian government make more effective use of its own resources, which far exceed those provided by donors. DFID supports reform in the Federal Ministry of Education, works with the World Bank to deliver Education Sector Programmes in three States and provides £26 million through UNICEF for a Girls Education Project in six northern States with the highest differences in the number of girls and boys in school. Our £55 million Partnership for Transforming Health Systems (PATHS) works with the Federal Ministry of Health and selected States to deliver better health services, including support for retraining of nurses and other health workers.
£12 million in support of African countries under the European Unions Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade Action Plan.
£11 million to the Forest and Environment Sector Programme in Cameroon.
£441,000 to pilot forest zoning in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
£470,000 to promote dialogue on sustainable forestry in DRC.
£300,000 to advance critical forest policy, tenure and market reforms in Africa.
Hilary Benn: In September I told President Wolfowitz that the first report on implementation of the Banks Good Practice Principles for conditionality did not provide enough information to enable me to make a decision on the payment of £50 million of the UKs IDA 14 contribution that was conditional on progress. He agreed to produce a more detailed report which we received last month. I met with the World Banks Vice President for Operations Policy on 27 November to discuss the report. Having considered the report I have decided that satisfactory progress has been made. This view was shared unanimously by the Board of the World Bank at its meeting on 5 December.
Andrew Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the outcome was of the review conference on the convention on certain conventional weapons; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Thomas: Review conference discussions were dominated by cluster munitions and anti-vehicle mines. Prior to the conference the Government announced plans to withdraw dumb cluster munitions from service by the middle of the next decade and called on others to do likewise. We succeeded in getting agreement to urgent expert discussions on the humanitarian impact of these weaponsan essential step toward negotiating a legally binding instrument on their use. No such agreement was possible on anti-vehicle mines. The UK therefore announced that it will, over time, introduce measures to reduce the humanitarian impact of these mines.
Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps he has taken to support the Right to Sight joint aim of the World Health Organisation and International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness to eradicate avoidable blindness worldwide by 2020. 
Mr. Thomas: The UK is committed to the aim of the Right to Sight: to eradicate avoidable blindness worldwide by 2020. The UK supported the recent resolution on the prevention of blindness that was passed at the World Health Assembly in May of this year. This resolution encourages a higher level of political, procedural and financial commitment to eliminating avoidable blindness worldwide.
The Department for International Development (DFID) supports developing countries efforts to build effective health services able to prevent, diagnose and treat the major causes of ill health, including those which cause avoidable blindness. In 2005-06 DFID provided £415.6 million as direct support to health sectors in developing countries.
In addition, DFID provided £12.5 million in 2005-06 as core support to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and £19 million in 2005-06 as core support to the United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF). WHO is a key partner in the Right to Sight, and has established specific disease control programmes such as the Global Elimination of Trachoma. UNICEF works to prevent measles and Vitamin A deficiency, both of which can cause blindness.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|