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10 May 2007 : Column 443W

International Development

Departments: Internet

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development for which Government websites he is responsible; how many visitors each received in the latest period for which figures are available; and what the cost (a) was of establishing and (b) has been of maintaining each site. [135735]


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Mr. Thomas: DFID currently has 48 sites that receive departmental funding. Under the transformational Government website rationalisation strategy we are in the process of reducing this number. Details of costs and the number of visitors for four of the main DFID funded sites are given in the following table. Compiling visitor and cost information for all 48 sites could be done only at disproportionate cost.

Website Average visitors per month Cost of establishing the site Annual cost of maintaining the site
Date Number Date (£) Date (£)

DFID main site www.dfid.qov.uk

2006

60,000

Not available for original site set up over 10 years ago

2007

101,312

January to April 2007

70,000

Not available for original site set up over 10 years ago

Developments Magazine www.developments.org.uk

June 2006 to April 2007

11,000

Not available

2007

12,000

Research for Development portal www.research4development.info

April 2006 to March 2007

3,100

2005

293,464

2006

366,067

2007

460,493

AIDSPortal www.aidsportal.org

May 2006 to April 2007

4,000

June 2004 to October 2006

355,000

2007

27,500


Iraq: Asylum

Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) what assistance the UK is providing to (a) Syria and (b) Jordan for refugees who have fled sectarian violence in Iraq; and if he will make a statement; [136353]

(2) what steps the Government are taking to protect refugees who have fled sectarian violence in Iraq. [136337]

Hilary Benn: We are in close touch with our partners and agencies about the situation regarding displaced Iraqis inside Iraq and in the region.

In January, the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) launched a $60 million appeal to address the influx of refugees into Iraq's neighbouring countries and the plight of displaced people inside Iraq (this is almost fully funded). The money will go towards the provision of basic services and protection for internally displaced Iraqis and refugees, registration, and needs assessments. DFID has contributed £1.5 million to this appeal, part of £310 million that we have spent on humanitarian assistance in 2007.

Inside Iraq, our support is providing urgently needed medical supplies, improved health facilities and restoring water and sanitation infrastructure.

In April, an international UNHCR conference in Geneva was successful in drawing international attention to the plight of the displaced Iraqis inside Iraq and in the region, and recognising the burden this places on host communities and countries. The main outcome of the conference was the Government of Iraq's commitment to take the lead in providing support and security for its citizens, including for those who have fled the country. The conference also agreed a new UN strategic framework for humanitarian action in Iraq, which will coordinate UN action in support of the Iraqi Government's efforts.

Iraq: Overseas Aid

Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) what proportion of Government assistance to internally displaced people in Iraq is channelled through (a) international NGOs, (b) Iraqi NGOs, (c) the Iraqi Government and (d) UK military forces; [136351]

(2) what Government funding and resources for internally displaced people in Iraq (a) was allocated in each year since 2001 and (b) will be provided in each of the next three years. [136352]

Hilary Benn: DFID's assistance to internally displaced people (IDPs) in Iraq is currently channelled through internationally mandated organisations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). We are currently not funding any iternational NGOs, the Iraqi Government or UK military forces.

In terms of DFID assistance to IDPs, we have made the following disbursements since 2001:


10 May 2007 : Column 445W
ICRC UNHCR IOM

2001

3,500,000

2002

2,000,000

2003

19,000,000

1,750,000

2004

2005

10,000,000

2006

4,000,000

2007

7,000,000

1,500,000

1,000,000

Total

45,500,000

3,250,000

1,000,000


We have not yet allocated our resources for the next three years; however, we will continue to follow the IDP situation closely and will work with international partners to respond to identified need.

Justice

Freedom of Information

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice, pursuant to the answer of 2 May 2007, Official Report, column 1726W, what steps she is taking to reduce the number of Freedom of Information requests awaiting allocation to case officers at the Information Commissioner's office; and if she will make a statement. [136512]

Vera Baird: The Information Commissioner is an independent body created by statute. On 26 October 2006, the Commissioner laid before Parliament a report describing his progress in eliminating the freedom of information case backlog and setting out his future plans. In April 2007, he published his Corporate Plan 2007-10, which sets out his strategy for the next three years.

Minister for Women

Women and Work Commission

Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what progress has been made on the Government Action Plan: Implementing the Women and Work Commission recommendations; and if she will make a statement. [136432]

Meg Munn: On 2 April we launched a report setting out the comprehensive programme of action being taken forward by Government to reduce the gender pay and opportunities gap one year on from the Women and Work Commission’s recommendations. This included: details of a £500,000 fund to create more quality part-time work; and the development of an Equality Check Tool to allow employers to see where they could improve their practices in relation to gender equality issues. I will also continue to chair a project board of Whitehall officials to drive forward the women’s economic participation agenda.

Northern Ireland

Asthma

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many asthma-related emergency admissions were recorded in each health trust area in each of the last three years. [136064]


10 May 2007 : Column 446W

Mr. Hain: This matter is now the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Administration.

Departments: Billing

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 23 April 2007, Official Report, column 890-1W, on Departments: billing, for what reason some Northern Ireland Departments keep a record of discounts offered and received on invoices while others do not; and what steps he has taken to standardise the way in which (a) payments are processed, (b) financial returns are made and audited and (c) financial records are kept by Departments. [134893]

Mr. Hain: This matter is now the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Administration.

Farmers: Incomes

Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assessment he has made of the effect of the 13.3 per cent. reduction in incomes from farming in 2006. [133402]

Mr. Hain: This matter is now the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Administration.

Fire Services: Manpower

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many members of the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service were employed in each fire district in Northern Ireland in each of the last six years, broken down by grade. [136060]

Mr. Hain: This matter is now the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Administration.

Fire Services: Pay

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what percentage change in pay each grade of member of the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service received in each of the last six years. [136061]

Mr. Hain: This matter is now the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Administration.

Groomsport School

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will place in the Library a copy of the action plan for the closure of Groomsport primary school. [136049]

Mr. Hain: This matter is now the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Administration.

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what (a) guidance and (b) assistance (i) has been and (ii) is planned to be provided by his Department to help Groomsport primary school staff prepare for the closure of the school. [136050]


10 May 2007 : Column 447W

Mr. Hain: This matter is now the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Administration.

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the programme for the closure of Groomsport Primary School. [136086]

Mr. Hain: This matter is now the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Administration.

Health: Research

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what health research programmes received funding from his Department in each of the last six years; how much funding was received in each case; and if he will make a statement. [136058]

Mr. Hain: This matter is now the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Administration.

Home Information Packs

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what (a) discussions and (b) correspondence he has had with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on the introduction of home information packs in Northern Ireland. [136062]

Mr. Hain: This matter is now the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Administration.

Hospices: Finance

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what funding was allocated by his Department to hospices in Northern Ireland in each of the last six years, broken down by hospice. [136059]

Mr. Hain: This matter is now the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Administration.


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