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25 Jun 2007 : Column 26W—continued

Departments: Dalits

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what proportion of his Department's locally employed staff in India are of Dalit origin; and at what level they are employed. [145423]

Mr. Thomas: DFID's locally engaged staff in India are recruited directly by our office in New Delhi. Its recruitment policy states that DFID does not
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discriminate on the basis of sex, caste, ethnicity, religion or other diversity criteria. However, we do not ask applicants or new recruits to provide information about their background because of the sensitivities involved in India, especially with regard to caste.

We are therefore unable to provide the information requested.

Departments: Foreign Relations

Mr. Carswell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many Memoranda of Understanding are in force as a result of agreements with foreign governments entered into by Ministers in his Department; and what executive actions each entails. [144468]

Mr. Thomas: Records of Memoranda of Understanding are not held centrally, either in DFID or across Whitehall, providing the information required would incur disproportionate costs.

Departments: Marketing

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which advertising and marketing campaigns were run by (a) his Department and (b) its agencies in each of the last five years; which external agencies were involved; and what the cost was of each campaign. [144626]

Mr. Thomas: Spending on advertising in print media for staff recruitment and procurement purposes was as follows:

Spend (£)











Expenditure on marketing and promotional campaigns since January 2002 is listed as follows. In all cases, this includes design and production of materials, and other promotional services. It is not possible to disaggregate advertising direct spend except at disproportionate cost. All the following costs are inclusive of VAT.

Developments Magazine and Rough Guide Campaign (2005)

Trade Matters Campaign (late 2005-early 2006)

Developments Magazine Campaign (2006)

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Third White Paper on International Development (2006)

G8 Gleneagles—One year on (2006)

DFID has not used advertising agencies in the last five years. DFID has used the Central Office of Information (COI) to source services for promotional campaigns. It is not possible to disaggregate these costs from design and production of materials, and other promotional services, without incurring disproportionate costs.

DFID places recruitment and procurement advertisements in print media using Barkers Advertising and Marketing Agency. There is no direct cost to DFID for their services.

DFID has no Executive agencies.

Departments: Public Participation

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many public consultations his Department undertook in the last 12 months; and what the cost was of each consultation. [145279]

Mr. Thomas: Over the 12 months up to end-May 2007, DFID launched 15 formal public consultations on its public website in order to inform the Department's policy development.

Information on the cost of each consultation and the total cost of all consultations, could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

The consultations launched were:

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Departments: Surveys

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many staff surveys his Department undertook in the last 12 months; and at what total cost. [145262]

Mr. Thomas: DFID conducted one staff survey in the last 12 months which required external assistance. This was to gather evidence for independent assessors to measure our performance against the Investors in People standard, and cost £7,000.

During the same period, we also carried out our annual survey to assess staff perceptions of how they are managed. It covered issues such as leadership, communication, training and opportunities for development, workloads, and how valued staff feel. This, plus a small number of other internal surveys, were devised, conducted and analysed internally by our own staff at no additional cost. It is not possible to calculate the staff time cost associated with those exercises.

Developing Countries: Drugs

Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to reduce the supply of fake or ineffective drugs in the developing world. [144726]

Mr. Thomas: DFID supports the World Health Organisation (WHO), through its core funding, in its efforts to help developing countries strengthen their pharmaceutical legislation, good manufacturing practices, national drug regulatory capacity and performance. The WHO also promotes information exchange among drug regulatory authorities to help combat drug counterfeiters.

DFID is working with a wide range of partners, including the WHO, developing country governments, pharmaceutical companies and non-governmental organisations, on the development of the Medicines Transparency Alliance (MeTA).

MeTA seeks to increase transparency over vital information on the price, quality and availability of essential medicines in developing countries to help tackle high prices, challenge corruption and counterfeiting, and address inefficiency. Up to a third of medicines on the market in developing countries are fakes.

MeTA seeks to change this by securing high level political commitment to increase transparency and accountability over medicine procurement and supply in participating countries. MeTA also seeks to bring the right people around the table—Government Departments, civil society organisations, companies and others—to agree ways of disclosing information on the price, the quality and the availability of essential medicines into the public arena, with the aim of ultimately reducing the cost, improving the quality and increasing the availability of medicines.

DFID has for example provided support to Nigeria’s National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control which has taken an active lead in reducing counterfeit drugs throughout the country.

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Ethiopia: Health Services

John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will take steps to facilitate the provision of healthcare free at the point of access in (a) Ethiopia and (b) Liberia. [144757]

Hilary Benn: DFID is committed to helping countries that want to remove charges at the point of delivery. In the recent DFID White Paper we made a commitment to help partner governments abolish user fees for basic health services and help them tackle other barriers to access, including discrimination against women.

In 2003, as part of transition arrangements, user fees for health services in Liberia were suspended. At the end of the transition period on 31 March 2006, the President accepted the Minister of Health’s recommendation that healthcare should continue to be free. We support this policy, although it is essential that it is implemented in the context of wider health sector reform, including financing, human resources, institutions, and procurement/supply chains.

DFID has agreed to extend its support to Save the Children UK in Liberia which is playing a leading role in assisting the Government with the development of pro poor policies and health financing. DFID will jointly fund the placement of an SCF-UK Technical Director for Health to work specifically on co-ordination, policy and advocacy, including on access to free healthcare.

User fees are one of several constraints to access to health care in Ethiopia, others being distance to health facilities and availability of drugs. Since more than one in five Ethiopians lives more than 10 km (or two hours walk) from a health care facility, Ethiopia’s Health Sector Development Plan focuses on expanding access to primary health care services, especially preventive services, most of which are provided free. DFID helps to fund the delivery of these services through its contributions to the Protection of Basic Services grant, which supports recurrent costs of health and other services at local level and procurement of essential commodities such as vaccines, malaria drugs, bednets and contraceptives.

John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what support his Department provided to health systems in (a) Liberia and (b) Ethiopia in each of the last five years. [144758]

Hilary Benn: As outlined in the new DFID health strategy “Working together for Better health”, assisting countries to strengthen their health services is a UK priority.

In Ethiopia, DFID provided direct budget support to the Government in support of its poverty reduction strategy from January 2003 to March 2005. This included £2.9 million for strengthening of the national health system and delivery of health care. Between June 2006 and end March 2007, DFID provided a grant of £8.7 million for the Protection of Basic Services, to help fund the recurrent costs of delivering basic health care services and the procurement of key commodities including vaccines, malaria drugs, bednets and contraceptives. Since 2005, DFID has committed a total of £145,000 to a multi-donor fund to
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cover costs of technical assistance, studies, consultations and meetings that are crucial to the implementation of Ethiopia’s Health Sector Development Programme.

In Liberia DFID has been providing humanitarian support for health services since 2003 through Save the Children, Merlin and other NGOs. They have focused on providing basic services, working closely with Country Health Teams. These Teams will take on increasing responsibility for health service management and delivery through training and carrying out joint supervision of health facilities. DFID’s support to NGOs in Liberia is structured around supporting public healthcare systems to be delivered free to the patient. As well as building capacity to strengthen systems, the support ensures payment of staff and provision of drugs.

DFID will provide up to £8 million over the next two years for building and strengthening systems at the central level. This includes support to the Ministry of Health to establish strong financial management and contributing to a proposed multi-donor fund to support Liberia to strengthen its health systems under its National Health Plan. DFID will continue to support NGOs to cover critical gaps in the provision of healthcare with increasing focus on transfer of leadership to the Government.

In Liberia, DFID bilateral expenditure on health in 2002-03 to 2006-07 was:

£ million











(1 )Actual spend of £38,000
(2) Provisional

This is expected to increase to around £3-£4 million for 2007-08 and 2008-09.

Iraq: Reconstruction

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) how much the Government budgeted to spend on the reconstruction of Iraq; [145532]

(2) how much the Government have spent on rebuilding the infrastructure in Iraq since the fall of Saddam. [145534]

Hilary Benn: Since March 2003, the UK Government have budgeted £744 million for the reconstruction and development of Iraq. Our contribution will help the Iraqi Government, at provincial and national level, to plan and deliver investment in basic services (electricity, hospitals, etc.), improve oil production, generate jobs and manage its own resources more effectively.

DFID has committed over £100 million to infrastructure projects in Iraq, and disbursed over £80 million so far. Our work on improving power and water supply has helped create employment for several thousand Iraqis in repairing some of southern Iraq's key infrastructure.

DFID power projects have added or secured 350 MW of electricity to the Iraqi national grid, and will be
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adding or securing a further 120 MW over the next six months. This has been achieved by repairing damaged electricity transmission and distribution networks, including transmission lines from Al-Hartha power station to Basra city (securing electricity supplies for 1.5 million residents), and the Al-Hartha power station chimney (securing electricity supplies for 340,000 people).

By late 2007 DF1D will have improved access to water for one million people. We have replaced 200 kilometres of water mains, repaired over 5,000 leaks, cleared out 7,000 septic tanks and cleared over 40 kilometres of drains. We have refurbished a reverse osmosis unit to supply potable water to about 500,000 people, improved water supply to 60,000 people in Al Amtahiyah, constructed a water training centre in Basra to increase the skills of Iraqi engineers in water treatment and leakage repair, and provided technical advice for a major sewage installation in Al Amarah, providing up to half the city's population with access to a piped system and replacing open sewage channels.

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