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To contribute to meeting the sexual and reproductive health needs of people in post-conflict states we have recently agreed a grant of £5 million to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for them to provide reproductive health supplies. This is in addition to our annual £20 million core grant to UNFPA.

We also have a number of programmes we directly support in countries. For example, in Rwanda we have provided £250,000 to a project which aimed to increase public awareness and discussion of women's sexual and reproductive health issues and lead to positive changes in knowledge, beliefs, attitudes and behaviour. In Somalia, we have provided over £400,000 to a project which aims to provide free primary health care and increase the access and quality of services provided to women. Part of this programme provides reproductive health education and highlights the benefits of family planning and birth spacing for women and their children.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has collected evidence from developing countries on what works in preventing HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections in young people. But I am not aware of specific assessments of the effectiveness of sexual and reproductive health education programmes in post-conflict states.

However, many countries now recognise that education (especially female education) can play an important role in reducing poverty. The link between improved education and improved reproductive health and HIV prevention is also recognised and many developing countries have established or broadened reproductive health policies and programmes. However, over 200 million couples still have no access to effective contraception and 15 to 24-year-olds account for 50 per cent. of new HIV cases. In Africa, 90 per cent. of all HIV infections are sexually transmitted with women and young people disproportionately affected.

DFID continues to give priority to supporting reproductive health and rights for women and to focus our bilateral programmes on strengthening of health systems to deliver effective information, services, and supplies. DFID is investing £1.85 million in a project evaluating the long-term impact of an adolescent sexual health intervention programme in Tanzania.

Developing Countries: Maternity Services

David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent work has been undertaken by his Department to find ways of improving maternal health in countries suffering from (a) high HIV/AIDS prevalence, (b) military conflict, (c) weak health systems and (d) a combination of all three; and if he will make a statement. [131251]

Mr. Thomas: DFID's strategy “Reducing Maternal Deaths: Evidence and Action” provides the basis for DFID support to improve maternal health at country level. DFID's approach to achieving sustained improvements in maternal health includes work to strengthen basic health services and to ensure that there is full integration between HIV and sexual and reproductive health services and programmes. In countries where there is high HIV prevalence, military
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conflict and/or weak health systems the challenges to improving maternal health are particularly great.

DFID investments are designed to address the specific needs of a country. For example in Zimbabwe the UK is investing £25 million to improve maternal and newborn health through a programme that aims to ensure full integration of HIV and maternal health services. In Malawi, DFID is providing £55 million to support an Emergency Human Resource Programme to address the acute shortage of health workers, an issue which has been compounded by the AIDS epidemic. This effort directly impacts on the Malawian health service's ability to deliver essential maternity services. In Nepal DFID's long-term support for maternal health has been adapted to ensure that it remains effective in the context of a changing political environment.

Developing Countries: Overseas Aid

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what proportion of the UK’s aid to the developing world was handled by EU institutions in the last period for which figures are available. [131002]

Hilary Benn: The proportion of the UK’s aid to the developing world channelled through the EC over the last five fiscal years, for which figures are available, is set out in the following table:

Fiscal year Proportion of UK aid channelled through the EC (percentage)











These figures are based on multilateral aid channelled through the EC.

The breakdown of Multilateral Aid through the EC is published in Table 16 and Gross Public Expenditure on Development in Table 3 of ‘Statistics on International Development 2001-02—2005-06’, a copy of which is available in the Library.

Developing Countries: Pesticides

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps he is taking to reduce pesticide poisoning of those working in cotton fields in developing countries, with particular reference to child workers. [131078]

Mr. Thomas: The Department for International Development (DFID) supports a range of projects designed to reduce the risk of pesticide poisoning in the agricultural sector. For example, DFID has researched and promoted integrated pest management practices for cost-effective and sustainable control of cotton bollworm in small-scale cotton production systems in India and Uganda. These practices are currently being scaled up by the Indian Government after they resulted in both increased yields and a 52 per cent. reduction in pesticide use. DFID is a major supporter of development co-operation carried out by the European Commission.
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The Commission has provided around €30 million towards a ‘Pesticide Initiative Programme’, including projects supporting improved training for farmers in various African, Caribbean and Pacific countries. Furthermore, DFID works with both regulators and private standard setting organisations to ensure that good agricultural practice related to pesticide use is supported. These good practices include safe handling, application, storage and disposal of pesticides.

Entering the labour force too early significantly limits young people’s opportunities over their life time. Limiting their physical and intellectual development and future choices and aspirations, it helps to trap families in poverty from one generation to the next. All children have the right to education and should not have to work to survive. The Government are committed to the elimination of child labour and are working towards long-lasting changes that tackle the underlying poverty that is at the root of this problem.

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will promote measures to phase out the use of pesticides classified by the World Health Organisation as highly hazardous, with particular reference to (a) aldicarb and (b) endosulfan, in developing countries. [131079]

Mr. Thomas: DFID has supported a range of training, education and research projects to promote best practice in the use of pesticides in developing countries. Integrated pest management practices researched with the help of DFID have proven to be particularly useful pest control strategies that can significantly reduce or eliminate the use of pesticides. DFID has recently allocated £37.5 million over five years to help scale up some of the most promising research findings and promote their use in Africa and South Asia. DFID is a major supporter of development cooperation carried out by the European Commission and the Commission has provided around €30 million towards a ‘Pesticide Initiative Programme' to improve training for farmers in various African, Caribbean and Pacific countries. There is evidence that small farmers have benefited from these projects through significant reductions in pesticide use and increased yield and income.

DFID also promotes reduced use of hazardous chemicals and pesticides through trading standards and good agricultural practices. DFID has provided core funding for the Fairtrade Foundation which, amongst other things, works to ensure appropriate use of pesticides by 'Fairtrade' certified producers, DFID works with the private standard setting bodies such as the Euro-Retailer Produce Working Group Good Agricultural Practice (EurepGAP) to ensure their global standards are attainable and realistic in developing countries and finally, DFID supports the Standards and Trade Development Facility of the WTO to provide capacity building support to developing countries to meet international standards including those related to maximum residue levels for agricultural pesticides and chemicals.

European Civil Peace Corps

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the objectives are of the European Civil Peace Corps; and what the UK's role is in the programme. [130634]

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Mr. Thomas: There is no European Civil Peace Corps. The European Union carries out a wide range of civilian crisis management missions to support conflict prevention and post-conflict stabilisation. The UK has strongly supported EU activity in this area politically, financially and through the secondment of UK personnel.

European Development Fund

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 15 March 2007, Official Report, column 479W, on the European Development Fund (EDF), how many countries have been suspended from the European Development Fund or had measures imposed upon them aimed at remedying a breach of the fund’s conditionality since establishment of the Fourth EDF. [129098]

Mr. Thomas: The 4(th) European Development Fund (EDF) was covered by the Lomé Convention which came into force in 1975. The legal basis which allows for the suspension of co-operation or the application of ‘appropriate measures’ did not come into force until 1995 (EDF 8).

Since then, there have been 13 consultations under the relevant provisions of Lomé and Cotonou. The countries involved were:

Consultations have generally led to the identification of agreed steps and benchmarks to be achieved for the normalisation of relations. In some cases (Haiti, Guinea-Bissau, Central African Republic) full relations and co-operation have resumed. While no country has been fully suspended from the EDF, some remain subject to the measures referred to above (Guinea, Togo, and Zimbabwe).

Gaza: Sewers

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what reports his Department has made of the recent sewage flooding in the Gaza strip. [131567]

Hilary Benn: DFID has not produced any reports on the recent sewage flooding in the Gaza Strip, but the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) publishes regular updates. DFID is in close contact with UN-OCHA and other agencies to establish the extent of the damage, and humanitarian and longer term needs.

Reports indicate that the volume of waste water exceeded the capacity at the existing treatment plant, leading to the flooding. The World Bank (WB) had been working with the Palestinian Authority (PA) to build a new plant. However, restrictions imposed by Israel and the poor security situation in Gaza hindered access for experts and equipment imports. The excess sewage finally caused the supporting walls of a filtration basin to break, flooding the nearby village of Umm Nasser.

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DFID is monitoring the situation and staying in close contact with the PA, civil society and other donors regarding the relief effort. Through the Temporary International Mechanism, the European Commission (EC) is funding fuel for heavy machinery to re-establish the embankment. The European Commission Humanitarian Office (ECHO) is providing €600,000 to consolidate the embankments of the main sewage lake where there is a danger of collapse. The UK contributes about 17 per cent. of EC assistance.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) has sent 300 tents, six water tanks, blankets, mattresses and hygiene kits to the affected area. DFID is providing £15 million of core funding to UNRWA this year. NGOs and other UN organisations have identified relief supplies to provide to those affected. UN-OCHA, which is co-ordinating the humanitarian response, has told DFID that the humanitarian situation is under control. They are not requesting any assistance beyond what has already been pledged.

The Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) and the WB met with the Government of Israel on 28 March. Israel agreed to provide free access to the area, facilitate the import of necessary equipment and provide technicians. The PWA and the WB are looking immediately to address the disaster area, including clean-up and the pumping of surplus sewage to a safe site.


Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the objectives are of his Department's projects in India; and what recent assessment he has made of the extent to which they have been achieved. [129951]

Mr. Thomas: DFID India’s Country Assistance Plan (CAP) 2004 to 2008 defines our objective of achieving poverty reduction in India, through:

DFID India reviews progress across its programmes and projects in achieving the CAP objectives each year. ‘An Evaluation of DFID’s India Programme 2000 to 2005’ was carried out by DFID’s Evaluation Department and published in August 2006. The evaluation found that DFID India’s overall development effectiveness is substantial and increased significantly between 2000 and 2005. For example, DFID’s support to primary education through the Government of India’s Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) programme has helped to get millions of children into school and to cut drop out rates. Support to civil society in some of the poorest districts of India has also made significant headway in allowing poor and marginalised groups to realise their rights. Copies of this document can be found in the Libraries of the House. DFID India is currently preparing a new CAP.

Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what funding and resources his Department provided to India in each of the last three financial years; what plans there are in
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respect of each of the next three financial years; how much was spent (a) bilaterally and (b) multilaterally; and through which multilateral bodies UK aid to India has been channelled. [129953]

Mr. Thomas: DFID’s portfolio in India comprises programmes at the national level and in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh. In addition, we provide funding to several multilateral institutions.

Over the last three years, DFID spent the following amounts on the aforementioned portfolio:

Amount spent (£ million)







(1 )Estimated

We cannot yet state precise figures for the next three years because Her Majesty’s Treasury’s comprehensive spending review for DFID is underway and we have not yet received our forward aid framework. Current estimates for 2007-08 and 2008-09 are £266 million and £300 million respectively.

DFID’s entire programme in India is a bilateral aid programme. We work closely with the Government of India to make sure our poverty reduction work fits India’s development needs.

We fund some multilateral institutions in India as part of our bilateral portfolio. Our primary partners are the Asian Development Bank, the UN and the World Bank. Our trust fund arrangements with these institutions are as follows:

Institution £ million Period of funding

Asian Development Bank


2002 to 2008

(United Nations Development Programme) UNDP


2004 to 2008

UNICEF Child Environment Fund


2004 to 2008



2005 to 2012

World Bank


2005 to 2008

In addition to its India programme, DFID also funds several multilateral institutions at the global level, many of which have programmes in India (eg the World Bank and WHO).

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