Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to support the new world food programme UNICEF ending child hunger and undernutrition initiative. 
Mr. Thomas: The UK has worked hard to support and improve the design of the ending child hunger and under-nutrition initiative (ECHUI) through its close relationships with UNICEF and the world food programme (WFP).
In particular we have encouraged a stronger emphasis on country ownership, involvement of all key partners and better coordination with existing initiatives in the field of hunger and nutrition. Over time the initiative has rightly strengthened its focus on advocacyto encourage efforts by host governments to direct their national policies to target child hunger and under nutrition.
The initiative is a global, regional and country level coordination mechanism, so funding will largely come from existing budgets. In 2006, DFID was the second largest donor to UNICEF providing £105 million and the fifth largest donor to the WFP providing £56 million.
Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which countries have (a) set and (b) published details of interim targets for 2008 towards universal access for anti-retroviral drugs; and what targets have been set. 
Mr. Thomas: The UK is committed to achieving universal access to comprehensive HIV prevention programmes, treatment, care and support by 2010. We worked hard to ensure that the Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS, adopted by the UN General Assembly in June 2006, committed countries to set ambitious national targets, including interim targets for 2008, to scale up towards the goal of universal access by 2010.
According to UNAIDS, around 90 countries have set targets for achieving universal access to treatment, of which 55 have set interim targets for 2008. Details, including what targets have been set, can be found on the UNAIDS website:
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether the £800 million environmental transformation fund is additional to previously committed overseas development aid. 
Mr. Thomas: The environment transformation fund is being established to support development and poverty reduction through environmental protection and to help poor countries respond to climate change. The Chancellor announced that £800 million would be spent over the three financial years 2008-09 to 2010-11 to supplement the budgets of relevant departments, to be managed by DFID and DEFRA. DFID's departmental expenditure limit for those years will be announced in the autumn as part of the Government's settlement of the comprehensive expenditure review. The fund will form part of the Government's delivery of its overseas development assistance (ODA) commitments. The Government has set a clear timetable to reach 0.7 per cent. ODA/Gross National Income by 2013.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how his Department plans to monitor the (a) environmental and (b) socio-economic impacts of the Environmental Transformation Fund. 
Mr. Thomas: The management and administration of the Environmental Transformation Fund (ETF) is still being designed. They will incorporate the principles, and where applicable the procedures, used by DFID to monitor environmental and socio-economic impacts of our bilateral programmes.
Where the ETF is used to support programmes managed by other development agencies, for example the Multilateral Development Banks, we will require those agencies to apply their own environmental and socio-economic monitoring procedures.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much his Department spent on road building programmes overseas in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
|DFID bilateral expenditure on transport, 2001 to 2006
|Transport sector expenditure (£)
In addition to this, DFID contributions to multilateral institutions, including the World Bank and the EC, include expenditure in the road sector. Annual UK multilateral contributions for productive infrastructure, which includes transport, amounts to around £140 million (2004 figures). Finally, in countries where DFID provides general budget support, a significant amount of the public spending in those countries will be on the transport sector. For example, the share of DFID budget support attributed to transport sector is 9 per cent. in Tanzania and 16 per cent. in Mozambique.
Although transport projects are predominantly in the road sector they involve activities much broader than road building. For example, DFID funding has strengthened road fund administrations in Ethiopia and Mozambique, to ensure that roads are better maintained.
Hilary Benn: DFID regularly reviews the performance of organisations to which it gives money. We are developing new ways of assessing the effectiveness of multilateral development organisations in contributing towards the achievement of the millennium development goals, to inform our aid allocation decisions. This work includes both quantitative and qualitative assessments of the effectiveness of the World Bank's International Development Association. This work is due to be completed towards the second half of the year.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent representations he has received on the selection process for the position of President of the World Bank. 
Hilary Benn: In the past month DFID has received representations from a number of civil society organisations calling for a comprehensive reform of the selection process for the position of the president of the World Bank. The UK has a long-standing commitment to support developing country calls for a stronger say at the World Bank. As last year's UK White Paper on International Development makes clear, the practice of picking the heads of the World Bank and the IMF based on nationality should end and both presidents should be chosen on merit.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if the Government will make it its policy to establish an open and merit-based selection process for the President of the World Bank. 
Hilary Benn: The UK has a long-standing commitment to support developing country calls for a stronger say at the World Bank. As last years UK White Paper on International Development makes clear, the practice of picking the heads of the World Bank and the IMF based on nationality should end and both presidents should be chosen on merit.
Dr. Ladyman: The Department has regular discussions with the Highways Agency about all proposed improvement schemes for the A1 in the North East. I have recently agreed that they should continue the development work on the A1 Newcastle/Gateshead Western Bypass scheme.
Dr. Ladyman: A Public Consultation on options for dualling the A120 between Braintree and Marks Tey ended on 17 June 2005, and resulted in a number of additional routes being suggested by respondents. The Highways Agency has been carrying out further work on these proposals, which should be complete this summer. Once I have received that advice I will be in a position to consider the way forward.
As the A120 is a route of regional importance the scheme has been considered in the Regional Funding Allocation prioritisation process. The scheme is included in the indicative list of schemes to be progressed so that they are ready to be added to the programme where necessary, for construction from 2009-10 to 2015-16.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what consultations took place between (a) his Department and (b) the Highways Agency and (i) Transport for London and (ii) the Metropolitan Police on the recent closure of the contraflow system of the Blackwall Tunnel. 
Gillian Merron: No consultations took place between the Department and Highways Agency regarding the recent closure of the tidal flow system of the Blackwall Tunnel, which is an operational matter for Transport for London (TfL).
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will introduce a national concessionary bus fare scheme which ensures that all pensioners have the opportunity to travel across national borders within the UK. 
Gillian Merron: The Concessionary Bus Travel Bill, currently before Parliament, contains a power to allow, via future regulations, for mutual recognition of bus passes across the UK. The Department has had initial discussions with the devolved Administrations about the proposal. All have indicated support but we would need to work together to resolve the various technical and resource issues before mutual recognition could be pursued.
In the meantime, local authorities in England already have the flexibilitywhich the Bill does not changeto offer more than the statutory concession to their residents, taking into account local circumstances, for example, free travel in the vicinity of the local authority, which could include across borders.
Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will place in the Library minutes of the meeting held on 7 March 2007 with the Prime Minister, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, the Mayor of London and business representatives on Crossrail, redacting any personal or commercially sensitive information as necessary. 
Mr. Tom Harris: Ministers and officials have meetings with a wide range of organisations and individuals on a wide range of subjects. Information relating to such private meetings, discussion and advice is not disclosed as to do so could harm the frankness and candour of discussion.
David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) on the performance of their e-mail inquiry service to the public; and what the DVLAs target is for responding to inquiries e-mailed by the public. 
Dr. Ladyman: Statistics recording the numbers of suspect identity documents detected by DVLA have been kept since July 2005. Between July 2005 and March 2007, 3,026 driving licence applications have been detected which were supported by suspected false identity documents.
Statistics are not available on the number of driving licence applications that were supported by false identity documents over the last five years. Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) reports suspect identity documents to the police and other appropriate authorities for investigation.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many investigations into people who fraudulently attempted to obtain driving licences led to the identification of (a) illegal immigration, (b) a vehicle having no valid MOT, (c) a vehicle on which vehicle excise duty had not been paid and (d) a driver driving without insurance in each of the last five years. 
Dr. Ladyman: Cases of fraudulent attempts to obtain a driving licence detected by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) are referred to the police or other appropriate authorities for investigation. No information is available on the outcome of these investigations or whether vehicle roadworthiness, vehicle excise duty or motor insurance irregularities were also identified by the investigation.
Cases where suspected immigration irregularities are identified as part of the driving licence application are referred to the Border and Immigration Agency of the Home Office. Statistics recording the numbers of suspect applications for driving licences detected by the DVLA have been kept since July 2005. Between July 2005 and March 2006, 710 applications were referred to that Agency. Between April 2006 and March 2007, 920 applications were referred.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many staff at the (a) Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, (b) Driving Standards Agency and (c) Vehicle and Operator Services Agency were employed to identify identity fraud in each of the last five years. 
Dr. Ladyman: The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) operates stringent identity checking procedures to ensure that driving licences are granted only after it is satisfied with the evidence of identity submitted. DVLA has a team of staff dedicated to conducting more detailed consideration of applications where initial checks have shown cause to suspect the authenticity of the application.
The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) takes allegations of impersonation of driving test candidates extremely seriously and has established a dedicated team to protect the integrity of its processes. DSA investigates fully incidents of impersonation at driving test that are both reported to it and those that it detects through proactive investigation.