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Water and Sanitation

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking (a) to promote and (b) to finance access to water for all in developing countries following his Department's announcement of support for the human right to water. [109965]

Mr. Thomas: In November, DFID published its global call to action on water and sanitation. This is our call to others—both international donors and governments in developing countries—to encourage them to do more. It highlights the need for all of us to
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invest more in water and sanitation, to ensure that this money is spent effectively and fairly and to put the right structures in place to make this happen.

Our message is that governments and the international community must organise themselves better and be held to account more effectively. To make this work we have stated that there should be one annual report to monitor progress towards achieving the water and sanitation Millennium Development Goal targets and one high-level global annual meeting to agree action. At the country level there should be one national water and sanitation plan, one co-ordinating group and one lead United Nations body for water and sanitation, identified at a national level.

We will be following up this call for action over the coming months.

DFID is to double its commitment to water and sanitation in Africa to £95 million a year by 2007-08 and more than double funding again to £200 million a year by 2010-11.

Sir Peter Soulsby: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what support his Department has given to public sector water providers in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [113010]

Mr. Thomas: DFID’s estimated total expenditure on water and sanitation was £221 million in 2003-04, an increase from £147 million in 2002-03. In 2003-04 the proportion of bilateral expenditure (£131 million) spent predominantly through governments, not for profit or humanitarian agencies was estimated at 95 per cent., based on a review of project documentation.

Updated figures for 2004-05 and 2005-06 will be published later in January 2007. Draft figures suggest the general increase in water and sanitation expenditure has been broadly maintained, with a decline in expenditure in Iraq offset by an increase in spend in Africa.

We are currently conducting an exercise to estimate the breakdown of bilateral expenditure in 2004-05 and 2005-06 by public and private beneficiaries, results of which will also be published in the updated report.

World Bank/IMF

Mr. Pelling: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the themes will be of his Department's three year strategy for work with the World Bank. [112853]

Hilary Benn: The current strategy for DFID's partnership with the World Bank was published in September 2004 and covers a three-year period. The objectives of this strategy are to help the World Bank to:

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A copy of the full strategy has been placed in the House of Commons Library and can be found at:

An end-of-cycle review of the current strategy will be undertaken later this year. This will help determine the objectives that are included in the institutional strategy for the following three years.

DFID reports annually to Parliament on its involvement with the World Bank. The latest report, “The UK and the World Bank 2005”, has been placed in the House of Commons Library and can be found at:

The report for 2006 will be produced shortly.

Negotiations for the 15th replenishment of the International Development Association of the World Bank will commence in March and are expected to conclude within a year. The UK's objectives for these negotiations are being discussed. I will inform the House once they have been finalised.

Mr. Pelling: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps have been taken by the UK to strengthen co-operation between the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. [112854]

Hilary Benn: Close co-operation between the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank improves the effectiveness of their support for poverty reduction and stability. We welcome the External Review Committee on Fund-Bank collaboration established by Rodrigo De Rato and Paul Wolfowitz in March 2006.

This has provided the opportunity to feed in UK views on how they can strengthen co-operation. Our contributions have been based around three themes. The first is to stress that there are important roles and responsibilities for both the Fund and Bank in both middle and low income countries. The second is to highlight areas where the Fund and Bank can make a more effective contribution through joint work. We have identified debt sustainability, financial sector strength, public expenditure management, and economic policy and growth, as the most critical issues. Both institutions also have an important contribution to make in supporting country-led poverty reduction strategies. The third theme is to highlight the need for a strong co-operative culture in both institutions so that there is consistent and effective collaboration in all developing countries. This requires a strong and sustained commitment from the management of the Fund and Bank. The UK continues to engage with the Committee and our international partners to exchange views and provide feedback on the extent to which the Fund and Bank are working together effectively in
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country. Examples of good and bad practice help to identify how they can achieve more effective collaboration.

Mr. Pelling: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps have been taken by UK representatives to encourage a results-orientated culture at the World Bank. [112855]

Hilary Benn: The World Bank is recognised as a leader in the field of measuring and managing for results. It was charged under the Marrakech Action Plan with developing a global good practice guide, and has developed an approach which aims to (i) strengthen countries' capacity to manage for results; (ii) enhance the Bank's own effectiveness in results management and (iii) coordinate various efforts at establishing a more results-based approach. The International Development Association (IDA), the Bank's concessional lending arm, was the first international financial institution to introduce a results measurement system (RMS). It tracks both country outcomes and the Bank's contribution to those outcomes. At the country level 14 indicators have been identified for monitoring, covering economic growth and poverty reduction, public financial management, investment climate, infrastructure, and human development. Within the Bank, a steering group has been established to promote broader awareness of the agenda and to identify specific systemic improvements that will enable the results-based system to be effective.

Maintaining and improving the Bank's focus on country-level results is a key objective of the UK's current three-year strategy for the World Bank. It is also one of the performance criteria which DFID is monitoring to assess progress against DFID's 2005-08 public service agreement target for improving the effectiveness of multilateral agencies. We will continue to use every opportunity to promote this and encourage further progress by the Bank. These include discussions in Washington and in our work with the Bank in poor countries. The latest major discussion on the results-based approach was in Washington at the IDA 14 Mid-Term Review meeting in November 2006. The Bank produced a paper on experience to date, noting areas where good progress had been made, and areas were this had been more limited—particularly in respect of developing the capacity of poor countries. The UK, and many other countries, recognised the Bank's commitment to results and acknowledged progress. We also noted that there was still much to do, and that sustained efforts would be required, in a range of areas, to make the results-based approach effective.

Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make a statement on his Department’s work on reform of the (a) International Monetary Fund and (b) World Bank. [113393]

Hilary Benn: The global economy has become increasingly integrated in recent years and as it continues to change, it is important that in both their function and governance the multilateral institutions are modernised to respond to those changes. Through reform the legitimacy and effectiveness of both institutions can be strengthened.

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The UK has been committed to the strengthening of developing country say in the governance of the IMF and World Bank for a number of years. The Government have reiterated that commitment in the White Paper on International Development published in July 2006.

Within the IMF, the UK welcomes the first steps towards reform and the timetable for further reform set out in the resolution agreed by Governors of the IMF in September 2006, to be completed, at the latest, by the autumn of 2008. The UK has given strong support and equal weight to both objectives of IMF reform: realigning member country shares to reflect global economic changes and strengthening the voice and participation of low income countries. The UK has been clear that reform must increase the voting share of low income countries as well as that of underweighted emerging market economies and we continue to emphasise this. In particular, the UK believes a stronger voice for low income countries requires a substantial increase in the share of basic votes which are assigned equally to all IMF members. These necessary governance reforms should be complemented by continued modernisation of the IMF’s instruments to ensure its continued effectiveness with the entire membership. To this end, the UK also supports proposals to reinforce the IMF’s crisis prevention role through a new framework for surveillance, with an emphasis on multilateral surveillance, and by expanding the IMF’s range of instruments for crisis prevention.

The 2006 White Paper on International Development acknowledges the critical role which the World Bank plays in providing development assistance to developing countries. It also makes clear that the World Bank must reform if it is to remain relevant in a changing world. Four priorities are identified for the Bank:

We are actively pursuing these reforms in collaboration with like-minded partners.

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John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions he has had with the government of Zimbabwe on increasing women's access to sanitary products. [108738]

Hilary Benn: I have not had such discussions, but I applaud the work of those who are campaigning for increased women’s access to sanitary products in Zimbabwe and wish them every success in their fund-raising. The high cost and limited availability of these products is symptomatic of the dramatic economic decline in Zimbabwe in recent years. Along with others in the international community, we have made clear our deep concern about the policies of the Government of Zimbabwe which shows no interest in discussions about the fundamental policy reforms which are needed. Meanwhile, DFID’s top priorities are to tackle HIV and AIDS, currently causing over 3,200 deaths per week; and assisting over a million people living in dire poverty, many of whom will face serious food shortages in the coming months. All of DFID’s assistance is delivered through NGOs and UN agencies—none of our funding is channelled through the Government of Zimbabwe.


11 Downing Street

Mr. Francois: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the costs of official entertaining in No. 11 Downing Street were in 2005-06. [104662]

John Healey: Figures for official hospitality at No.11 Downing Street are not held separately and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

All expenditure on official entertainment is made in accordance with published departmental guidance on financial procedures and propriety, based on the principles set out in “Government Accounting”.

Mr. Francois: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the costs of refurbishments to No. 11 Downing Street were in 2005-06. [104663]

John Healey: None.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the names are of the guests who have stayed overnight at Number 11 Downing Street in the last 12 months. [105591]

John Healey: The Treasury is not responsible for the flat in No. 11 Downing Street.

Bingo Industry

Mr. Wallace: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what (a) duties and (b) taxes are imposed upon the bingo industry. [112815]

John Healey: Duty is levied at 15 per cent. on gross profits from bingo and participation fees for bingo are
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subject to VAT at the standard rate. The bingo industry is also subject to the usual taxes imposed on business.

Child Benefit

Mr. Harper: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of fathers with equal residence and contact with their child as mothers have been awarded child benefit. [113054]

Dawn Primarolo: This information is not available.

Christmas Cards

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer to whom he is sending Christmas cards on behalf of his Department. [106494]

John Healey: Treasury Ministers send Christmas cards to a range of people with whom the Treasury has dealings.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer from where Christmas cards to be sent by his Department have been sourced; and what account was taken of the sustainability of that source. [106562]

John Healey: The Treasury’s Christmas cards come from a sustainable source.

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Compensation Payments

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much in compensation payments was paid by his Department in 2005-06; and what the reason for the payment was in each case. [108196]

John Healey: There is no record of any compensation payments in 2005-06.

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