|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Strong progress has been made towards gender and social equity, including for Scheduled Caste children, Scheduled Tribe children and children with disabilities, particularly in rural areas; and
The gap in education indicators between rural and urban areas is narrowing. Rural primary enrolment rates are now just 3 per cent. behind those of urban areas. In rural areas there are now 89 girls for every 100 boys enrolled, compared to 94 girls for every 100 boys in urban areas. Examination pass rates are now almost identical in rural and urban areas.
DFID and its development partners are currently preparing a second phase of external support to SSA. The support will have a strong focus on raising the quality of education, through teacher development, improved assessment systems, better school management and improved classroom practices.
In addition to SSA, DFID has just approved £35 million of support for Mahila Samakhya (MS), promoting Education for Women's Equality. This is the Government of India's main programme for tackling women's empowerment through education. It supports mostly rural women to organise into village level collectives called Mahila Sanghas, which empower women to resist violence; to gain better access to education and health services; to open up economic opportunities such as microfinance; and enhance women's role in local government.
DFID's education programme in Pakistan does not focus on rural areas specifically. We generally work through the Federal and Provincial Governments to promote system reforms so our support benefits all, including urban, rural and remote areas.
DFID is supporting nationwide educational development through the Gender and Education Policy Support Project (£3.5 million over four years) and the National Education Assessment System (£700,000 over five years). Both of these jointly funded programmes benefit rural areas.
DFID is also funding education activities in specific parts of the country. In Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) DFID is supporting a Community Participation Education Project (£550,000 over two years) covering four districts, most of which are rural. DFID support to the Faisalabad Devolution Project (£6.4 million over four years) includes support to develop the strategic and management capacities in the education sector in the Faisalabad district, including support for the improvement of individual schools, many of which are in rural areas. In the Punjab province more widely DFID is contributing £30 million over four years to the Asia Development Bank-led Punjab Devolved Social Services Programme, 17 per cent. of which is for support to education.
DFID contribution to the reconstruction of the earthquake affected areas has a substantial element of this funding is for education, reconstruction and rehabilitation, with much of the earthquake affected areas being rural. We have agreed so far to contribute £44 million in budget support and technical assistance.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent (a) estimate has been made of the number and (b) assessment has been made of the humanitarian needs of Palestinian refugees on the Iraq-Syrian border; and what support the UK has offered. 
Mr. Malik: The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) estimate that there are 1,400 Palestinians living in refugee camps on the Iraq-Syrian border. The UNHCR have visited these camps and are providing emergency support. We are in contact with our international partners and aid agencies regarding the situation for displaced peoples both within Iraq and in neighbouring countries, including the Palestinian community, which UNHCR estimates to number about 15,000 people in Iraq itself.
In 2007, DFID has contributed £1.5 million to the UNHCR regional appeal and £15 million for UN Relief and Works Agency's (UNRWA) work among refugees in the middle east. Both the UNHCR and UNRWA are providing support to Palestinians who are living in refugee camps on the Iraq/Syria border. We have also contributed £7 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to support vulnerable groups including displaced Iraqis and Palestinians living in Iraq.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent discussions he has had with international colleagues on Palestinian development, with particular reference to the development of a Palestinian (a) airport and (b) port. 
Mr. Malik: My right hon. Friend the former Secretary of State for International Development held regular discussions with international colleagues on Palestinian development and I will continue to do so.
Under the UK presidency, the EU led in negotiations with the parties and Secretary Rice to agree the Agreement on Movement and Access which was signed by Israel and the Palestinians in November 2005. This Agreement states that construction of a seaport should commence. The Agreement also notes the importance of an airport in Gaza and recommends that discussions on construction, security and operations should begin. Despite this Agreement, negotiations on the seaport and airport are currently on hold.
At this difficult time in Gaza the urgent priorities are to ensure sufficient and regular supplies to meet the basic needs of Gaza's 1.3 million people and to re-open
external trade. However, in the longer term, establishing reliable access to the outside world will be essential for sustainable economic development, poverty reduction and a viable Palestinian state.
Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when the trial introduced in North Tyneside following the GNN report, Data Sharing can lead to Faster, More Efficient Services, will be extended to a further six local authorities; and if he will consider Thanet as a location for one of the next pilot schemes. 
Mr. Plaskitt [holding answer 2 July 2007]: The joint working pilots to extend the trial carried out in North Tyneside to a further six local authorities will run for three months from around September and will be evaluated early in 2008. Six local authorities have been invited to participate and we are awaiting their response. Final selection of the six local authorities is ongoing pending these responses.
We are looking to test across a mix of different types of local authority, including London, Scotland, Wales, rural, urban and large conurbation and selection will also take into account factors such as caseload and performance.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) individuals and (b) households who were in receipt of (i) housing benefit and (ii) council tax benefit were also in receipt of (A) income support, (B) family credit and (C) any other state means-tested assistance in (1) 1992-93, (2) 1997-98 and (3) 2005-06. 
Mr. Plaskitt: The information is not available in the format requested. The most recent available information is May 2004. The available information for DWP administered benefits is in the following table.
|Housing benefit and council tax benefit recipients, by receipt of other benefit( 1) : in Great Britain, May 1992, May 1997 and May 2004|
|Housing b enefit||Council tax benefit|
|(1) Figures refer to cases where either the claimant or the partner was in receipt of other benefits. (2) Figures include income support for the unemployed in 1992. (3) Other state income-related benefits are disability working allowance in 1992-97, income-based jobseeker's allowance in 1997-2004 and pension credit in 2004. (4) Denotes not applicable; working families tax credit replaced family credit in 1999. Notes: 1. Figures are rounded to the nearest thousand. 2. HB data excludes any extended payment cases. 3. CTB data excludes second adult rebate cases. 4. Income support for the unemployed was replaced by income-based jobseeker's allowance in October 1996. 5. Pension credit replaced minimum income guarantee (MIG) in October 2003 and extended IS entitlement to customers aged 60+. Source: Housing benefit and council tax benefit management information system, annual 1 per cent. sample|
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) individuals and (b) households were in receipt of (i) income support, (ii) family credit, (iii) housing benefit, (iv) council tax benefit and (v) tax credits in (A) 1992-93, (B) 1997-98 and (C) 2005-06; and what the total was of these benefits. 
Mr. Plaskitt: The information is not available in the format requested. The available information is in the following tables. Information about tax credits is a matter for my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
|Income support claimants in Great Britain as at May in each of the years shown|
| Notes: 1. May 1992 figures are produced from a one per cent sample, uprated to WPLS totals and rounded to the nearest thousand. 2. May 1997 figures are produced from a 5 per cent. sample, uprated to WPLS totals and rounded to the nearest hundred. 3. May 2005 figures are rounded to the nearest 10. 4. The information for 1997 includes minimum income guarantee; pension credit replaced minimum income guarantee in October 2003 Source: DWP Information Directorate one per cent five per cent sample and 100 per cent WPLS|
|Family credit claimants in Great Britain at May in each year shown|
| Notes: 1. Figures are rounded to the nearest one hundred. 2. Working families tax credit replaced family credit in 1999. Source: DWP Information Directorate five per cent sample.|
|Housing benefit and council tax benefit claimants in Great Britain at May in each year shown|
|Housing b enefit||Council tax benefit|
| Notes: 1. The data refers to benefit units, which may be a single person or a couple. 2. Caseloads have been rounded to the nearest 10. 3. Housing benefit figures exclude any extended payment cases. 4. Council tax benefit figures exclude any second adult rebate cases. 5. Figures for any non-responding local authorities have been estimated. Source: Housing benefit and council tax benefit management information system quarterly 100 per cent. caseload stock-count.|
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many individuals were living in households where one or more persons in those households received (a) an income-related benefit, (b) personal tax credit, (c) an income-related benefit or any personal tax credit and (d) any income related-benefit and any personal tax credit in (i) 1997-98 and (ii) 2005-06. 
Mr. Plaskitt: The information is not available in the format requested. The available information is in the following table. Information about tax credits is a matter for my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
|Income-related benefit recipients in Great Britain as at May 1997 and May 2004|
| Notes: 1. Income-related benefits are income support (IS), income-based jobseeker's allowance (JSA(IB)), pension credit (PC), housing benefit (HB) and council tax benefit (CTB). 2. Overlaps between benefits have been removed. 3. Due to the estimation procedure used to remove the overlaps between housing benefit and council tax benefit, figures have been rounded to the nearest 10,000. 4. IS/JSA 5 per cent. figures have been uprated using 5 per cent. proportions against 100 per cent. totals of WPLS data. 5. HB data excludes any extended payment cases. 6. CTB data excludes second adult rebate cases. 7. Some income-based JSA claimants may also have entitlement to benefit via the contributory route. 8. Pension credit replaced minimum income guarantee (MIG) in October 2003 and extended IS entitlement to customers aged 60+. Source: Information Directorate, 5 per cent samples; 100 per cent. Work and Pensions longitudinal study; and, housing benefit and council tax benefit management information system, annual 1 per cent. sample.|
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of failed asylum seekers and their dependants removed to their country of origin under the assisted voluntary return (AVR) scheme in 2006 were given help with reintegration through the provision of training, education or help starting a small business; what the average cost per person was of return under the AVR programme in
2006; and what criteria are used under the AVR programme in the selection of recipients for help with reintegration in their country of origin through the provision of training, education or help starting a small business. 
Mr. Byrne: Reintegration assistance is available to all those who return via the voluntary assisted return and reintegration programme (VARRP) one of a number of assisted voluntary return (AVR) schemes operated by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) on behalf of the Border and Immigration Agency. VARRP is the largest of the AVR schemes and the only one that includes reintegration assistance as standard.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|