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John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent discussions he has had with the Government of the United States about the distribution of condoms in HIV/AIDS programmes. [105314]

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Mr. Thomas: The UK and US agreed at UN General Assembly High Level Meeting on AIDS in June 2006 that comprehensive HIV prevention is essential, including expanded access to male and female condoms. For the past 10 years DFID has been the fourth largest condom provider, providing over a billion condoms since 2001. USAID was the largest individual donor for contraceptives and condoms in 2004, contributing 35 per cent. of total donor support. But in Africa there are still only enough condoms to provide eight for each man each year. The UK will continue to play its part, and work closely with the US to ensure an appropriate and effective response to AIDS, including on the provision of condoms.

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of HIV/AIDS policies in (a) India and (b) Thailand. [105325]

Mr. Thomas: The Government of India’s National AIDS Programme (NACP) began in 1992, and the second phase of the programme (NACP 2) will run until March 2007. Key achievements under NACP2 include the establishment of 1,033 focused prevention interventions among vulnerable groups, 875 voluntary counselling and testing centres and 679 sexually transmitted disease clinics at the district level.

Currently, only half of the populations at greatest risk of infection (sex workers, men having sex with men and injecting drugs users) are currently covered by prevention interventions. Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) was introduced by the programme in 2004 but the roll out has been slow and serious issues of access, adherence, and capacity remain. By May 2006, only 32,000 people were covered by the free treatment programme.

Yet, there is emerging evidence that the strategy of concentrating on focused interventions among those at highest risk is having an impact in states in the south.A recent analysis of HIV data from 216 antenatal clinics and 132 sexually transmitted infection clinics for 2000-04 suggest that HIV prevalence among women aged 15-24 years in southern states declined from1.7 per cent. in 2000 to 1.1 per cent. in 2004. HIV infection levels also fell among men aged 20-29 years who attended sexually transmitted infection clinics in the south.

In Thailand, Government policy is to provide Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) to all those in need as part of the national Health Insurance scheme. This has contributed to Thailand’s successful high treatment coverage rates. There has been concern that Thailand has failed to maintain initial HIV prevention successes. There are now worrying increases in infection prevalence rates in young people, married women and men who have sex with men. The Government recently announced that they would increase investment in this area with the aim of reducing new infections by 50 per cent. by 2010, but has not yet presented plans for this. Continued high levels of stigma and discrimination remain a major barrier to an effective response.

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent discussions he has had with the Government of China on tackling HIV/AIDS. [105329]

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Mr. Thomas: The Government of China is making a concerted effort to tackle HIV and AIDS, including more than doubling its spending since 2003.

In August DFID agreed to provide £30 million over four and a half years to help the Government of China’s national HIV and AIDS programme contain the number of people living with HIV and AIDS to1.5 million by 2010. This is part of a £92 million programme that is also supported by the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. Following the approval of the programme DFID officials have been continuing to hold discussions with the Government of China about its implementation.


Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much UK aid has been spent on vaccine and immunisation programmes in developing countries in each of the last 10 years. [105202]

Mr. Thomas: It is not possible to disaggregate our country programme spend on immunisation. We can however provide information on specific funding to immunisation bodies. We have provided £68 million to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation between 2000 and 2008 to increase access to vaccines for children under five through the introduction of new vaccines, lowering the prices of existing vaccines and improving the capacity of health systems to deliver vaccinations. We have also provided £338 million to the Polio Eradication Initiative between 1988 to 2008, and £39.8 million to the International Aids Vaccine Initiative between 2000 to 2008. We have committed a further £1.38 billion to the International Finance Facility for Immunisation, which will raise $4 billion to support GAVI over the next 10 years. We also support the work of UNICEF which provides significant assistance to country vaccine programmes.

Indian Ocean Tsunami

Mr. Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what aid his Department has provided to Aceh since the tsunami. [104606]

Mr. Thomas: The province of Aceh in Indonesia was struck by an earthquake followed by tsunami that devastated an 800km coastal strip in December 2004. The tsunami killed around 170,000 people and displaced approximately 500,000 from their homes.

In the immediate aftermath of the tsunami DFID committed £55 million to emergency relief projects in Aceh, and the neighbouring island of Nias which was also severely affected. All emergency relief projects have been successfully concluded, and relief needs were met in all projects. The evaluation of all relief projects is set out in the document “Report on DFID's response to the Indian Ocean Disaster”, copies of which have been placed in the Libraries of the House and can also be found on the DFID website.

In addition, DFID has allocated £59 million to longer term reconstruction and recovery in Aceh and Nias. These funds are being channelled mainly through the following programmes:

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Both the MDF and ERTR programmes have been reviewed positively in recent independent reviews as well as by DFID's own monitoring activities. Progress has been made, but there is still a long way to go. For example, the Government of Indonesia's Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency for Aceh and Nias (BRR) ( estimates that 120,000 units of new housing are required, and, as of April 2006, 41,734 had been built.

International Finance Facility

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much UK aid has been channelled to developing countries through the International Finance Facility. [105201]

Mr. Thomas: The UK is committed to developing innovative financing mechanisms to raise additional resources to accelerate progress towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals.

The International Finance Facility (IFF) is still under development, but the pilot IFF for Immunisation (IFFIm) was launched in September 2005. It issued its first bonds on 7 November 2006, raising US$1 billion which is being channelled through the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI). These funds will support GAVI's vaccination and immunisation programmes in developing countries, allowing a major scaling-up of this important work.

IFFIm will raise a total of US$4 billion for immunisation over the next 10 years. The UK has committed a total of £1.38 billion to IFFIm over the next 20 years.

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Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what progress has been made by the UK in the rehabilitation and development of infrastructure in Basra Province since 2003; and if he will make a statement. [104858]

Hilary Benn: DFID has been on the ground delivering programmes in Basra Province since theend of the conflict in 2003. We have already spent£118 million on economic development and reconstruction projects in southern Iraq. Achievements to date include:

In addition, we have also helped the Provincial Councils to produce development plans, designed to helping the Iraqis to prioritise activity, unlock the substantial Iraqi funds available (around US$300 million in 2007) for reconstruction projects in the south and get the resources flowing to the provinces. This is a long term challenge, but progress is being made. The Basra Council is already putting this strategy into action by implementing over 220 projects to repair water and sewage infrastructure, and improve roads and electricity supplies. Together with other donors, such as the Australians, Japanese, United Nations (UN) and the World Bank, we need to continue to support the Government of Iraq, at both national and provincial levels, to turn Iraqi resources into viable projects so that local people can see real progress.

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which UK companies are working on regeneration in Iraq; and in what part of the country each is working. [105615]

Hilary Benn: The redevelopment of the essential infrastructure and economy in Iraq is vital for the progress of the country and its people. British companies have already played a pivotal role in rebuilding Iraq in several sectors, including power generation and transmission, water and sanitation, and oil and gas. We are aware of more than 70 major contracts and sub-contracts awarded to UK companies. Further information can be obtained on the UK Trade and Investment website:


John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the impact of flooding in Northern Kenya. [105067]

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Hilary Benn: DFID has not made any independent assessment of the situation regarding the flooding in northern Kenya. We are however in close touch with the agencies on the ground and the government bodies that are responding to the crisis.

The UN estimates that there are 563,000 Kenyans in eight districts, and 100,000 refugees mostly from Somali origin from refugee camps near Garissa, that are directly affected by the flooding.

The main humanitarian threats are from water borne diseases such as diarrhoea (the Ministry of health has issued a cholera alert), and from the effect of diarrhoea in conjunction with the very high levels of malnutrition in these areas. There is also likely to be an increase in malaria cases, but this is likely to be mainly once flood waters begin to drop and this is not yet happening.

Access is a serious problem with many roads in the worst affected areas being impassable. Part of the funding from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (to which the UK is the major contributor) is being used to provide helicopters and other aircraft to reach communities in the most inaccessible areas.

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps are being taken by his Department to assist with flood relief in Northern Kenya. [105068]

Hilary Benn: The UK is providing £1.2 million to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) for its work in addressing the effects of the flooding in the refugee camps located near Garissa in north east Kenya. We have also provided £0.8 million to the Kenya Red Cross for flood relief work among Kenyan populations. Both of these grants are for the supply of relief materials and provision of safe water and sanitation materials. Further contributions are being considered.

The UN has announced that this fund will be contributing $11.8 million for flood relief work in Kenya from its Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). The UK is the largest contributor to this fund and was actively involved in its establishment. The UK also provides core funding to many of the most active agencies on the ground, including UNHCR, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).

Latin America

John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the work being undertaken in Latin America by the World Bank. [106105]

Mr. Thomas: We welcome the World Bank’s goals in Latin America, which are as follows:

Support higher and more stable growth and employment

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Support institutions for equity, inclusion, sustainability

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