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Departments: Theft

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what items valued at above £100 were reported as stolen from his Department's buildings or premises in the last 12 months. [121976]

Mr. Thomas: The items reported as stolen from DFID's offices over the last 12 months are as follows:

In the case of both cash losses, investigations were carried out, and in one case an individual was dismissed.

Developing Countries: Primary Education

Mark Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps he is taking to meet the millennium development goal of universal primary education by 2015 for children in conflict-affected fragile states. [123697]

Mr. Thomas: There is no agreed global list of conflict affected fragile states, nor fragile states. We do have a list of ‘fragile states’ which we are reviewing, as countries frequently move in and out of fragility and conflict, and political circumstances in a country can rapidly change. DFID defines fragile states as those where the government cannot or will not deliver its core functions—the delivery of basic services,
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provision of safety and security, capable management of public resources, and control over its own territory. DFID's list of fragile states is based on the countries in the bottom quintiles of the World Bank's country policy and institutional assessments from 1999-2003. Detail on DFID's current definition and list of fragile states can be found in DFID's policy paper, “Why We Need to Work More Effectively in Fragile States”, page 7 and annexe 1, which is available in the House of Commons Library.

DFID's commitment to work more in fragile states is clearly stated in the 2006 White Paper. The UK has also announced its intention to provide £8.5 billion over the next 10 years to support education and this will include support for fragile states. This long term commitment will support the development and implementation of education sector plans aimed at meeting the education goals including in fragile states.

DFID's bilateral programmes are already supporting education in fragile states. For example, in Afghanistan some 40 per cent. or £15 million of our support to reconstruction went to education last year. In addition, through the Education for All Fast Track Initiative's (FTI) Education Programme Development Fund (EPDF) there is the capability to support fragile states to get them on-track with education sector plans. The FTI is now piloting capacity building support for Haiti, Liberia, Somalia and Burundi through the EPDF. The UK-led FTI fragile states task team has been created to examine how the FTI can increase its support for fragile states.

Guinea: International Assistance

Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what aid the UK is providing to the Government of Guinea in 2006-07; and if he will make a statement. [123850]

Hilary Benn: DFID is providing £750,000 in humanitarian and rehabilitation assistance to Guinea in 2006-07. It is being provided through international partners and agencies and is focused on a range of preventative humanitarian activities, including support to refugees, assisting people affected by conflict, monitoring of the food security position, and supporting an emergency immunisation programme.

We have also recently agreed to provide £500,000 over three years from the Africa Conflict Prevention Pool to support civil society working to promote emerging democratic governance in Guinea.

The UK also provides financial support through the European Union and multilateral agencies. The UK’s estimated contribution through these agencies was £6.4 million in 2004.

Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions are taking place in the EU regarding the distribution of the recently agreed aid package to Guinea; and if he will make a statement. [123851]

Hilary Benn: The UK welcomes the efforts of the European Union and regional leaders to help negotiate a peaceful solution in Guinea. The EU has expressed its concern that the recent restrictions on freedoms, especially on radio broadcasts, constitute a step backwards in the undertakings given by the Government of Guinea during
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the consultations under Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement in December 2006, under which the EU agreed to release funds from EDF9. The EU is continuing to monitor the situation closely, and has reaffirmed its support for the process of democratisation and strengthening of the rule of law, particularly the holding of parliamentary elections in June 2007.

Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions have been held with (a) the World Bank and (b) the African Development Bank regarding emergency aid to Guinea; and if he will make a statement. [123853]

Hilary Benn: The World Bank and the African Development Bank (ADB) are not providing emergency assistance to Guinea, but both are providing development assistance. ADB support is focused on improving governance, especially in the area of public resource management, basic education and rural infrastructure. The World Bank is revising its Country Assistance Strategy, and currently supporting work in community development, rural infrastructure including electrification, education, transport, health, and HIV/AIDS.

Human Trafficking

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what role his Department plays in combating human trafficking in the countries to which the United Kingdom provides aid. [124502]

Mr. Thomas: Poverty and social exclusion make people vulnerable to human trafficking. DFID's purpose is to support long-term programmes to help eliminate the underlying causes of poverty. Our programmes help improve the livelihood opportunities and security of poor people so that they are less susceptible to traffickers.

DFID also supports the anti-trafficking work of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) through its special action programme to combat forced labour and the international programme on the elimination of child labour. Over £14 million is currently committed to ILO and civil society programmes in south-east Asia.

Overseas Aid: Education

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much UK Government funding was allocated to educational facilities and activities in (a) Iraq and (b) Afghanistan in each year since 2001. [121615]

Hilary Benn: DFID’s main support to the education sector in Afghanistan is through the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF). This plays a big part in meeting in meeting the recurrent costs such as wages and salaries of teachers and school materials. ARTF resources cover 90 per cent. of the Ministry of Education’s wage bill and teachers’ salaries represent almost 40 per cent. of ARTF recurrent expenditures. DFID funds a third of these expenditures. The total UK contribution to ARTF to date is £223.7 million ($425.2 million). In addition, we gave limited support (£47,000) for primary education of refugees in 2001-02.

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In Iraq, our support to education has been channelled through the International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq (IRFFI). In 2004, we contributed £70 million to the multi-donor trust funds managed by the United Nations and the World Bank, which provide assistance in key areas including education. IRFFI projects have rehabilitated schools, provided essential text books, and trained Iraqi teachers. For more information on these funds please consult

Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the projected spending on educational programmes by his Department is for each year until 2015. [123251]

Mr. Thomas: The UK Government have committed to spending some £8.5 billion between 2006-07 and 2015-16 in support of education in developing countries. The Prime Minister has committed the UK to spending £1 billion a year on bilateral and multilateral support to education by 2010, which represents the doubling of education spend from 2005-10. It is expected that most of our partner countries will receive additional funding for education. The overall increases for 2008-09 to 2010-11 will be decided when the comprehensive spending review for 2007 has been concluded later this year.

Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how his Department monitors progress towards the UN Millennium Development Goals on education; and if he will make a statement. [123350]

Mr. Thomas: Monitoring progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), including those on education (MDGs 2 and 3), is the responsibility of the United Nations (UN), and DFID uses their official assessments. The recently published UN “Millennium Development Goals Report 2006” is a comprehensive account of progress to date on each of the goals, and how great an effort remains necessary to meet them. This report is published by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the UN Secretariat and is based on a master set of data that has been compiled by an Inter-Agency and Expert Group on MDG indicators.

The authoritative source of global education data is the Education for All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report (GMR) which contains data from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics. This report is published annually and reports on progress towards the EFA goals set out in the 2000 Dakar Framework for Action.

Overseas Aid: Employment

Anne Moffat: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make UK development assistance to (a) India and (b) Pakistan conditional on the enforcement by those governments of laws prohibiting bonded labour. [124486]

Mr. Thomas: The UK's development assistance is not conditional on a single issue but depends on a shared commitment to three principles: reducing poverty and achieving the millennium development goals (MDGs);
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respecting human rights and other international obligations; and strengthening financial management and reducing corruption.

Our partnerships with both countries are firmly based on these principles, including working with the governments to ensure that all the human rights obligations implicit in the MDGs are met.

India's constitution provides a strong framework for promoting the rights of all its citizens. The Bonded Labour Systems Act of 1974 marked the abolition of bonded labour, the bonded labour system and bonded debt. The legal courts and the National Human Rights Commission have since taken clear positions against bonded labour.

The UK and Pakistan signed a 10-year Development Partnership Arrangement (DPA) in November 2006. The DPA is built around a shared commitment to pursuing the three principles outlined above. The government of Pakistan (GoP) has declared bonded labour illegal. The UK is working with the GoP to combat child labour by piloting the provision of cash transfers to parents whose children enrol in, and attend, school.

Therefore we do not see a case for interrupting our development assistance to either country.

Overseas Aid: Health Services

Mr. David Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps are taken to ensure that projects funded by his Department to fight specific diseases in developing countries do not take (a) resources and (b) medical staff away from those countries’ general healthcare infrastructure. [122761]

Mr. Thomas: DFID uses a range of approaches and aid instruments to fight specific diseases in developing countries according to the country situation. The preference within the bilateral programme is to provide budget support or pooled funds to support the implementation of countries’ own health plans. Such approaches provide flexible and long term support to fund trained staff, essential medicines and the costs of delivering broad based health services.

In more difficult settings where DFID supports large disease specific programmes it encourages the delivery of integrated packages of care, for example adding distribution of bednets, micronutrients, and other vital treatments to immunisation programmes.

The challenges are greater in multilateral investments where DFID channels funds through others, for example the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria or the GAVI Alliance. DFID encourages these groups and others to buy into national plans and use national delivery systems where possible. The aim is to minimise the negative effect of projects that may divert funds, staff and effort to specific health issues at the expense of broader services. In response to such concerns GAVI has established a health systems funding window to support the infrastructure needed to deliver sustainable health systems and the Global Fund model is evolving with the recent contribution to the pooled health sector fund in Mozambique.

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Skills for Development Programme

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much funding his Department provided for the Skills for Development programme in each year since 2000. [123099]

Mr. Thomas: DFID has provided funding of up to £5.4 million for the Skills for Development programme.

The following table shows the funds allocated in each year since 2000.

Skills for Development















Smith Institute

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much money from the public purse (a) his Department and (b) its agencies gave to (i) the Smith Institute and (ii) its subsidiary SI Events Ltd in each year since 1997; and for what purpose each payment was made. [123092]

Hilary Benn: Since 1997 neither organisation has received any payments from DFID.

South Asia: Family Planning

Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what support his Department provides to reproductive health programmes in South Asia. [123040]

Mr. Thomas: In India, DFID has committed £252 million to the second Reproductive and Child Health Programme (RCH2) from 2006-11. This includes a major component of family planning and other reproductive health services, and gives priority to the poorest States. In addition, DFID’s support to health in the four focus states (West Bengal, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh) includes significant support for reproductive health services.

In Bangladesh, DFID has committed £100 million for a period of five years (2006-11) to the government-led Health Nutrition and Population Sector Programme. Reproductive Health is a central element of the programme’s essential service delivery component. DFID is also proposing a five year commitment to a United Nations maternal and neonatal programme targeting up to 47 million people, and focusing on improving maternal health services particularly for poor and excluded people.

In Pakistan, DFID has committed £7.5 million over five years (2003-07) to a joint reproductive health commodities social marketing programme with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
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DFID has committed £68.5 million, including technical assistance, between 2002 and 2006 for the National Health Facility, of which approximately £41 million is for reproductive health services. This national programme includes family planning; female health workers whose role includes providing community based family planning, and some population welfare which includes reproductive health. DFID’s £90 million support to the maternal and newborn health programme 2006-11 includes reproductive and maternal health initiatives.

In Nepal, DFID funds the national safe motherhood programme (£20 million from 2005 to 2010). DFID provided £11 million for family planning commodities through the UNFPA between 1997 and 2006.

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