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19 Feb 2007 : Column 74W—continued

On gender, DFID's Civil Society Fund has worked with women's civil society organisations to help them to engage more effectively with national decision-makers on key issues. To improve water and sanitation facilities, DFID is funding repairs to water infrastructure in southern Iraq, which will double the volume of water supplied to around 100,000 homes in
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one of Basra's poorest areas, and boost the supply of drinking water for around half a million people. By late 2007, DFID projects will have improved access to water for around a million people in southern Iraq.

Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Emergency Public Administration Programme in Iraq; and if he will make a statement. [119449]

Hilary Benn: The Emergency Public Administration Programme (EPAP) ended in July 2005 and its impact was assessed in September 2005. DFID judged that it fulfilled its initial objective: to help the Iraq Government set up key institutions at the centre of government. These included the Prime Minister's Office, the Council of Ministers Secretariat, and the Government Communications Directorate. The team of technical experts advised the Iraqi government on institutional structures and staff roles and responsibilities. They also provided targeted training to help key staff manage the machinery at the heart of government.

At the same time, the programme also provided vital economic policy advice to the Ministry of Finance during a period when the international financial institutions had no formal presence in Baghdad. This focused on preparing the budget and also provided the Government of Iraq with technical advice to help then negotiate an Emergency Post-Conflict Arrangement (EPCA) with the International Monetary Fund.

In late 2005, we launched a follow-on programme to provide training and advice to the three central Government institutions. Our 2006 assessment of the support to the centre of government project showed that despite changes in Government personnel, the project has met its objectives. The organisational structures set up under the Iraqi interim Government were successfully built upon when Prime Minister Maliki took office in May 2006. In an environment beset by political and security challenges, efforts to build institutional capacity take time; now staff are more effectively trained and able to develop policy. We expect to continue our support to these institutions during the course of 2007, to consolidate the gains made in public sector management practices at the heart of government.

Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of his Department's Political Participation Fund in Iraq; and if he will make a statement. [119450]

Hilary Benn: DFID last reviewed the Political Participation Fund (PPF) in July 2005 and is currently conducting a comprehensive project completion review. The aim of the PPF was to increase the participation of poor and marginalised Iraqis in the political process as the country underwent a major transition to a democratic political system.

Throughout 2005 and 2006, the PPF funded a range of Iraqi NGOs who have run a series of outreach activities. Grants of £5,000 to £300,000 were made to organisations for activities such as workshops to
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educate voters and written pamphlets to explain the functions and responsibilities of different parts of government. They also organised a series of public television debates with prominent Iraqi politicians.

Activities were timed to coincide with the two national elections in January and December 2005, as well as the national referendum on the new Iraqi constitution in October 2005. The UN reported that voter turnout increased from 60 per cent. to 70 per cent. between the two elections, including increased participation in poor localities and in Sunni areas.

The review also showed that the project successfully built the capacity of 25 Iraqi civil society organisations ranging from neighbourhood women's groups, media associations, and union organisations. Each civil society organisation received training in project development and management. Following this support, a number of the organisations have been identified by UN agencies as potential partners for future work.

Iraq: Hospitals

Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many (a) local healthcare clinics and (b) hospitals there were in Iraq in each year between 1995 and 2006; and if he will make a statement. [119447]

Hilary Benn: The World Bank reports that there are currently 330 hospitals and 900 health clinics in Iraq. We do not have a yearly breakdown since 1995.

There has been some progress since 2003, with more than 1,000 healthcare facilities rehabilitated or equipped, and more than 6,000 health workers trained, but there is a very long way to go. The UN and the World Bank trust funds, to which the UK has contributed £70 million, are spending over $120 million to repair hospitals and train staff. The UN has rehabilitated/constructed 209 primary health centres (PHCs) and the World Bank is in the process of improving access to emergency services in 11 hospitals and providing basic medical and laboratory equipment and essential drugs to 12 hospitals. DFID has also supported the Red Cross/Red Crescent movement, which continue to supply life-saving medical support in Iraq.

Iraq: International Assistance

Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what estimate he has made of the number of (a) emergency health kits, (b) surgical kits and (c) additional health kits procured by the World Health Organisation in Iraq using British aid funding in each year since 2003. [117869]

Hilary Benn: In 2003, we contributed £6 million to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) appeal to provide rapid reinvigoration of an effective Iraqi health system. The WHO had a number of key objectives in implementing the WHO Jump Start Programme, which was designed to reinforce the Ministry of Health’s ability to provide health services and to address the immediate health priorities during the humanitarian and reconstruction process. In addition, DFID has contributed £70 million to the International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq (IRFFI), of
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which £30 million was used by the UN Trust Fund to provide funding to UN agencies, including the WHO’s core programmes.

By March 2003, medical kits containing supplies for basic health care to cover half a million people for three months were available inside Iraq, in addition to the supplies in Government warehouses estimated to be the equivalent of three months of normal consumption. WHO also pre-positioned emergency health kits in neighbouring countries that could support primary health care for 240,000 people for three months. We are unable to provide the actual number of medical kits that were supplied with DFID funding. Since 2003, the WHO has provided consistent support to the Iraqi Ministry of Health (MOH). It has conducted many vital activities, such as rehabilitating key institutions, providing capacity building for MOH staff, together with giving high-level policy support and providing key disease surveillance assistance.

Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the outcome has been of spending by his Department in Iraq since the invasion in (a) education, (b) water and sanitation, (c) healthcare and (d) the microfinance sector; and if he will make statement. [120339]

Hilary Benn: The UK has pledged £644 million for development and reconstruction in Iraq since March 2003. This includes over £120 million in humanitarian assistance to provide for immediate basic needs, a £70 million contribution to United Nations and World Bank trust funds which carry out work on education and health, and £100 million for reconstruction in southern Iraq.

In water and sanitation, DFID emergency infrastructure repairs in 2003 increased water supply by up to 30 per cent. in some governorates in southern Iraq. We have replaced 200 kilometres of water mains in southern Iraq and repaired more than 5,000 leaks. Furthermore, we constructed a Water Training Centre in Basra to help Iraqi engineers to build the skills needed to maintain their infrastructure. We are also repairing a water plant which will supply drinking water to approximately half a million people in Basra. By summer 2007, we expect to have finished a £7 million project to construct three water towers to provide tap water for a further 500,000 people. These projects have generated thousands of workdays for local people.

In education and health, DFID has channelled most of its assistance through financial contributions to international organisations and through the UN and World Bank trust funds. In education, over 5,000 schools have been rehabilitated; more than 100,000 primary and 40,000 secondary schools teachers have been trained; and over 70 million new textbooks distributed. In healthcare, over five million children have received life- saving vaccinations. More than 1,000 healthcare facilities have been rehabilitated or equipped, and more than 6,000 health workers trained. Through extensive disease control programmes, the prevalence of Leishmaniasis, measles, malaria and polio has declined.

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The US, with support from DFID, has supported microfinance initiatives. Two institutions, operating across Iraq, have made US$78 million worth of loans to over 40,000 clients.

Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what plans his Department had for (a) water and sanitation projects and (b) electrification projects in Iraq prior to the invasion. [120340]

Hilary Benn: Prior to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, DFID's objective was to ensure that there was sufficient preparation to avert a major humanitarian crisis during, and immediately after, the conflict. Part of this strategy was to facilitate the rapid restoration of essential services such as healthcare, power, and water and sanitation.

In 2003, DFID's emergency support was provided through financial contributions to the following United Nations agencies:

£ million

World Food Programme






World Health Organisation


UN Mine Action Scheme


UN High Commissioner for Refugees


Food and Agriculture Organisation


We also provided £18 million to International Red Cross, and £4 million to a number of non-governmental organisations. These organisations all had experience of working in Iraq, and thus had well-established local networks and a capacity to quickly deliver assistance on the ground. They moved into Iraq soon after the major conflict ended and rapidly set up effective humanitarian operations.

Maintaining clean water supplies and effective sewage systems was a high priority. DFID's contribution to UNICEF helped repair water and sanitation facilities, and where necessary, supplied water by tanker while supplies were disrupted. Sewage removal in Baghdad was a major issue and given high priority by the coalition provisional authority. Similarly, with funding from DFID, UNDP bought essential equipment for hospitals and a water purification plant, and repaired water-pumping stations.

To improve the supply of electricity immediately after the conflict, UNDP undertook technical assessments of the problems and followed up with emergency repairs. The projects UNDP completed include essential repairs to overhead transmission lines and power generation plants to maintain Iraq's national electricity grid. It also repaired electricity substations and bought tools so that Iraqi engineers could maintain them.

Iraq: Schools

Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many (a) primary schools, (b) secondary schools and (c) higher
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education institutions there were in Iraq in each year between 1995 and 2006; and if he will make a statement. [119446]

Hilary Benn: There are approximately 6 million Iraqi children enrolled in 19,000 primary and secondary schools. The following table, provided by the World Bank, is based on statistics obtained by UNESCO for a situation analysis of education in Iraq and the Iraqi Ministry of Education:

Primary schools Secondary schools


































A range of international agencies have been involved in constructing and rehabilitating schools since May 2003, with the United States as the major bilateral partner and the United Nations and World Bank providing support mainly through the International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq (IRFFI). DFID has contributed £70 million to IRFFI. Current plans are for 6,400 schools to be rehabilitated or constructed. 5,100 have already been completed.

Iraq’s current higher education system comprises 20 universities and 47 technical institutes under the management of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MHESR). This includes 200 colleges, 800 departments, and 28 research centres. There are in addition 10 private colleges offering programmes in computer sciences, business administration, economics and management. The latest UNESCO survey of 2004 found a total student enrolment of 251,175, 42 per cent. of whom are women. Almost 50 per cent. of the students are enrolled at the five universities in Baghdad. Two universities have less than 2,000 students while Baghdad University enrols two thirds of all students.

Latin America Departmental Staff

Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many staff from his Department were based in each Latin American country in each of the last three years; and how many are expected to be based in each country in each of the next three years. [120423]

Mr. Thomas: The following table indicates the number of staff based in each Latin America country in the last three years and the current financial year:

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2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07






















DFID plans to maintain its current levels of staffing during 2007-08. Any decisions about staffing levels beyond 2007-08 in Latin America and elsewhere will be taken in the context of the comprehensive spending review.

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