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5 Dec 2007 : Column 1250W—continued

Social Rented Housing: Rents

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much additional rental income will arise from rent restructuring if continued in each year to 2011. [164939]

Mr. Iain Wright: The forecast of additional rental income arising from rent restructuring continuing in each year to 2011-12 would require the projection of dwelling stock totals to that date, which the Department does not have. Even with these data local authorities are free to set their own rents and so, although they will be
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mindful of the guideline rent in the Housing Revenue Account subsidy system, we would be unable to forecast what rent levels might be.

For housing associations, the Housing Corporation does have stock projections extending to 2012, but not in a format that would allow the calculation of additional rental income as asked. To answer the question would require a detailed breakdown of stock and the rental income associated with that stock.

Waste Disposal

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps are being taken to improve access to civic amenity sites. [165295]

Joan Ruddock: I have been asked to reply.

Section 51(1)(b) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 requires waste disposal authorities to provide places where residents can deposit their household waste free of charge. Section 51(2) specifies that these sites shall be reasonably accessible to residents, open at all reasonable times including a period on Saturdays and free of charge.

As a general rule, the Government believe local authorities are best placed to make decisions on the waste management strategy for their communities and therefore DEFRA does not intervene in these matters.

International Development

Climate Change

6. Christine Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to assist the world’s poorest countries address the adverse impacts of climate change. [171079]

Mr. Thomas: DFID is helping developing countries prepare for climate change by, for example:

9. Dr. Blackman-Woods: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to help the world’s poorest countries address the effects of climate change. [171082]

Mr. Thomas: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave my hon. Friend the Member for City of Chester (Christine Russell) today (UIN 171079).

HIV/AIDS: Sub-Saharan Africa

7. Ms Keeble: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps he is taking to increase UK assistance allocated to children orphaned by HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa. [171080]


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Mr. Thomas: The UK HIV/AIDS strategy “Taking Action” commits the UK to spending £1.5 billion on HIV/AIDS between 2005 and 2008. Of this, at least £150 million will be spent on orphans and vulnerable children, most of which will go to sub-Saharan Africa.

Somaliland

8. Alun Michael: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assistance his Department is providing for the development of democratic processes in the Republic of Somaliland. [171081]

Mr. Malik: DFID is contributing over £1 million to a democratisation programme in Somaliland.

The programme, implemented by Interpeace, currently supports the National Electoral Commission to:

It also supports civil society to engage in the democratic process.

HIV/AIDS

10. Ms Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions he has had with his international counterparts on global efforts to address HIV/AIDS. [171083]

Mr. Thomas: DFID Ministers over the last few months have had discussions with a wide range of international counterparts including the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Ministers of Health signed up to the International Health Partnership, the International Aids Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), the Clinton Foundation, the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria, UNAIDS, UNFPA, WHO and others.

Discussions have concentrated on international commitments to HIV and AIDS, including the commitment to universal access to comprehensive prevention programmes, treatment, care and support by 2010.

Elections

11. Mr. Scott: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department has taken to support free and fair elections in developing countries over the last 12 months. [171084]

Mr. Malik: DFID provided over £8 million to support the elections in Sierra Leone that were widely perceived as free and fair and resulted in a peaceful transition of power to the opposition. The Department also provided £6 million to support the last election in Nigeria. We are already providing support for forthcoming elections in Kenya, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sudan and Malawi. In a process ending in early 2007, we provided £25 million to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) election—our largest contribution to date to a national election.


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Burma

12. Mrs. Caroline Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make a statement on the humanitarian situation in Burma. [171085]

Mr. Malik: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Members for Bexleyheath and Crayford (Mr. Evennett) and North West Cambridgeshire (Mr. Vara) toady (UIN 171074 and 171076)

IT: Africa

13. Mr. Peter Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what projects his Department has to provide children in Africa with access to information technology. [171086]

Mr. Thomas: The majority of DFID’s bilaterial aid to education in Africa is provided through sector and budget support. Decisions on investment priorities are made locally by the recipient Government. DFID funds are used to support IT in schools through teaching training; through our multilateral funding of organisations like the Commonwealth of Learning, who provide expertise on both software and hardware; and through our policy dialogue with Governments and the new partnership for Africa’s development (NEPAD) on the role of IT in schools

Bangladesh

14. Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps the Government have taken to provide aid and assistance to Bangladesh to deal with the damage caused by cyclone Sidr. [171087]

Mr. Malik: The UK Government has provided £7 million for cyclone Sidr relief in Bangladesh. The first
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tranche of £2.5 million went through the Bangladesh United Nations development programme (UNDP).

An additional £2.5 million was announced by the Secretary of State on 23 November to be programmed through three international NGOs.

A further £2 million announced by the Secretary of State on 28 November to support the short to medium-term response.

Djibouti

15. Mr. Brian Binley :To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what support his Department plans to offer to assist the operation of the forthcoming elections in Djibouti. [171088]

Mr. Malik: We have no plans to offer bilateral assistance for the forthcoming elections in Djibouti. The United Kingdom does not have a bilateral aid programme in Djibouti. Any UK support would be channelled through our core contributions to multilateral agencies such as the World Bank, United Nations and European Commission.

Asylum: Overseas Aid

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much his Department allocated to support work with refugees from (a) Iraq, (b) Afghanistan, (c) Sudan and (d) Somalia in each of the last 10 years. [169440]

Mr. Malik: It is not possible to determine the level of DFID support for refugees from the above countries from central systems.

The following table shows DFID bilateral humanitarian assistance in total and in each country over the last ten years. This assistance supports a range of activities including work supporting refugees and internally displaced people.

DFID bilateral humanitarian assistance, 1997-98 to 2006-07
£000
DFID bilateral humanitarian assistance, of which: Iraq Afghanistan Sudan Somalia

1997-98

94,680

3,351

6,685

4,337

1,047

1998-99

113,711

5,749

2,579

23,497

1,079

1999-2000

224,700

6,585

4,917

2,774

372

2000-01

222,431

9,545

6,563

4,491

1,235

2001-02,

192,446

7,760

49,943

5,164

1,638

2002-03

294,891

18,853

44,253

16,338

2,920

2003-04

310,602

110,052

10,457

21,872

3,172

2004-05

332,318

21,383

7,067

77,904

3,543

2005-06

405,978

4,770

3,390

97,792

15,589

2006-07

336,473

10,085

1,613

83,614

7,975


DFID also provides funds to a range of civil society organisations and multilateral institutions that support refugees and internally displaced people across the world.

Burma: Overseas Investment

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much British companies have invested in Burma in each of the last five years; and which companies have made such investments. [162548]

Mr. Thomas: I have been asked to reply. The UK Government discourage trade and investment with Burma. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures for the UK’s foreign direct investment in Burma for the period
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2001-04 are protected by commercial confidentiality. The ONS recorded a nil investment return in 2005. Data for 2006 will be published in February 2008.

Delivery Services

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which companies are under contract to his Department to provide mail services. [170170]

Mr. Malik: DFID is party to a Government contract in respect of an overnight internal mail service between our two UK offices. This contract is currently let to TNT Express (UK) Ltd. No other private companies are contracted to provide mail services.

Departmental Marketing

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will place in the Library a copy of the guidelines issued to staff maintaining his Department's corporate identity; and what the estimated annual cost is of (a) producing and (b) complying with such guidelines. [170230]

Mr. Malik: I have placed a copy of DFID's Identity Standards in the Library of the House.

The Identity Standards booklet was produced in financial year 2005-06 and cost £21,504.50 to produce. There are no ongoing production costs, as the booklet has not to date been reprinted.

The booklet was a refinement of existing guidance into one easy-to-use package for staff to refer to, so there were no initial compliance costs. This has led to substantial time savings for staff in having consistent, easily accessible guidance across all applications. The only ongoing compliance cost is a small amount of Communications Division staff time for guidance and monitoring compliance. This is a routine function of the Communications Division and it is not possible to disaggregate the precise time or cost involved.


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