Mr. Hain: There have been numerous UK and Welsh Assembly Government initiatives that have helped to reduce economic inactivity in Bridgend and Wales, including the Pathways to Work project, piloted in Bridgend and Rhondda Cynon Taf in October 2003.
9. Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State of Trade and Industry on the post office network in Wales; and if he will make a statement. 
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many appeals the Valuation Office Agency has processed in relation to the council tax revaluation in Wales; how many were allowed (a) in whole and (b) in part; and how many appeals are outstanding. 
Mr. Hain: As at 31 December 2006 the Valuation Office Agency had received 18,066 formal appeals against the 2005 council tax lists. As at the same date 15,300 had been settled, of which 10,190 resulted in an amendment to the council tax band.
Hilary Benn: This project is entirely funded by the US Government. At US Government request, the UK military will be facilitating security. The UK may fund smaller projects in the vicinity of the dam as part of a stabilisation programme.
Building on the 2003-04 expenditure figure I have committed to double spending on water supply and sanitation sectors in Africa to £95 million a year in 2007-08, and to more than double funding again to £200 million a year by 2010-11.
|North Africa||Sub-Saharan Africa||Total|
OECD Development Assistance Committee.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what initiatives he has undertaken to combat deforestation; what discussions he has had with developing countries on this issue; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Thomas: Initiatives undertaken by the Department for International Development that have a bearing on deforestation include: a range of bilateral forestry projects with countries in Africa and Asia; the funding of research undertaken by centres of the Consultative Group on Agricultural Research; and the funding of activities by non-governmental organisations.
Discussions with developing countries about deforestation have taken place bilaterally and in the United Nations Forum on Forests and the UNs Food and Agriculture Organisation. The Government are currently in discussion with developing countries on the subject of avoided deforestation and climate change in the negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and bilaterally, both at the ministerial and the official level.
Hilary Benn: The track record of the private sector in delivering water in developing countries has been mixed which is why DFID is interested in what works. And what works varies from place to place so the public versus private debate is not a straightforward one. The UN Human Development Report recognises that the most obvious lesson from any review of public and private provision is that there are no hard and fast cross-country blueprints for success.
Successful public water utilities include ONEA in Burkina Faso, SANASA in Brazil and the National Water and Sewerage Corporation in Uganda (NWSC). The NWSC provides consultancy and advisory services to other utilities in East Africa. The formation of this business unit has been partly due to the strength of the private sector environment in Uganda. On the other hand the UN Human Development Report also notes that many publicly owned utilities are failing the poor, combining inefficiency and lack of accountability in management with inequity in financing and pricing.
In Cochabamba, Bolivia, the failure of private sector water provision led to rioting in the streets and the cancellation of the contract with the private provider. In Senegal on the other hand, private sector involvement helped create 81,000 new water connections and increased the countrys water supply by 10 per cent. between 1996 and 2003.
The failure and success of both public and private utilities depends on more than ownership structure. Factors such as the level of inherited debt, the quality of regulation and the engagement of civil society are highly significant. The conclusion that DFID draws is to support what works best in each context in for the worlds poorest people.
DFIDs policy is thatwhere we canwe respond to requests from developing country governments for assistance to help improve the efficiency of their water utilities. Usually this involves DFID providing support to public bodies. In some cases, where the developing country government has a policy for participation of the private sector in service delivery, DFID may be asked to advise on how this might best be done.
Nevertheless, the public sector continues to play the leading role in providing water and sanitation throughout the world. This is why most of DFIDs aid (about 95 per cent. of our bilateral country programme expenditure on water and sanitation) supports the delivery of water and sanitation through governments, not-for-profit or humanitarian agencies.
Assessments of public and private provision have been completed by a range of international and research organisations including the World Bank. These studies (including a DFID-funded assessment by WaterAid of the impact of private sector involvement on the poor) reinforce DFIDs view that the polarised debate about public and private utility ownership fails to grasp the complexity of the current situation. DFID believes that different approaches work best in different contexts.
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much aid the (a) UK and (b) EU has given to third country parties to the Euro-Mediterranean partnership in 2006. 
|Official development assistance to third country parties to the Euro-Mediterranean partnership, 2005|
Data extracted from OECD.Stat.
Under Saddam Hussein's regime, trades unions were part of the Ba'ath Party machinery and had very little independence. After the fall of his regime, trades unions effectively collapsed. Trades unions in Iraq are therefore relatively recently
established. DFID provides support to trades unions through our Civil Society Fund (CSF) programme. There are two main aspects to this assistance:
training trades union leaders; and
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