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14 Jan 2008 : Column 1075W—continued

Mr. Thomas: All of the signed Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) contain safeguard clauses which provide the EPA signatory countries with the means to protect their industries where a high volume of imports from the EU looks likely to threaten it. These safeguard measures can include an increase in customs duties and/or the introduction of tariff quotas on the products concerned. These safeguards can be introduced where the EU imports are of such volume
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that they threaten serious injury to the industry producing like or directly competitive products, or where the imports could cause disturbances to a sector of the economy resulting in social problems or a deterioration of the economy. All of the EPAs also contain clauses to protect infant industries, where a high volume of EU imports could threaten an emerging industry producing like or directly competitive products.

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what monitoring and review mechanisms exist as part of the economic partnership agreements to enable countries to make their own assessment of the impact of the agreements. [177584]

Mr. Thomas: The specific texts of the agreements and council conclusions approved in November 2007 underpin the EU's commitment to ensure that the implementation of EPAs is properly monitored. We expect the arrangements for each regional review mechanism to take shape over the next few months following further consultation and planning between EU and ACP officials.

The UK pushed strongly at the November General Affairs and External Relations Council to ensure that the conclusions' language on monitoring and review mechanisms reflected a focus on assessing the development impact of EPAs with emphasis on inclusive, participatory processes. In 2008 we will explore with other European partners how to ensure adequate national ownership, capacity and resources for effective monitoring and review mechanisms. We are also in the process of preparing specific initiatives, such as support planned to strengthen monitoring through improved statistical capacity in the Caribbean.

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) what measures his Department has put in place to assess the effect on those countries which did not conclude an economic partnership agreement by the 31 December 2007 deadline; [177655]

(2) what measures his Department has put in place to make an impact assessment for those countries that have signed (a) a full economic partnership agreement and (b) an interim arrangement. [177659]

Mr. Thomas: We recognise it is crucial to assess the economic, social and other impacts of Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) on the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries which have signed up to them. Over the course of 2007, as part of ongoing plans to strengthen the content and use of impact assessment—we have had discussions with the European Commission and others, particularly on improving the Sustainability Impact Assessments which the Commission is obliged to carry out for trade-related agreements (including EPAs).

Following the launch of both the full and interim EPAs, early work is now underway within DFID and the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform to review the content of the
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agreements and assess how they will work for development. We are working through our offices in the ACP regions, consulting with ACP governments to ascertain their views on the impact of EPAs. In the Caribbean, we are in the process of planning some focused analytical work to identify the constraints and opportunities afforded by EPAs as part of our broader engagement on regional economic integration in the area. More broadly, we will be monitoring the development of the EPA review mechanisms due to be set up in each region. Terms of reference have not yet been developed for these mechanisms but we are investigating opportunities for development partners to be involved and will be working with EU partners, including the Commission on how to ensure national ownership, capacity and resources to ensure their and effectiveness and sustainability.

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how the EU will ensure that agricultural exports are duty and tariff free in accordance with the terms of the interim economic partnership agreements. [177646]

Mr. Thomas: On the 20 December, EU Ministers agreed a Regulation which provides all ACP countries which had brought forward WTO compatible market access offers by 31 December 2007, with duty free quota free access for all products being imported into the EU. This Regulation is the legal means by which the duty free quota free market access offer is to be realised and provides an instruction to all EU Governments to allow the qualifying ACP country to export goods to the EU duty and quota free. The EU member state's customs authorities would then update their import entry database. Upon presentation of the appropriate documentation (in this case an EUR1 certificate) from the exporter, which will have been obtained from the Export Issuing Authority in the originating country, proving they are entitled to EPA rates, the products will be given entry into the EU country duty and quota free.

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the expected gains are for the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries from the duty and quota free offer from the EU following the EU's change in rules of origin; and whether any further modifications are anticipated. [177669]

Mr. Thomas: Changes in rules of origin for those countries which have signed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) will primarily benefit those with textile, clothing and fisheries industries where there have been significant relaxations. These industries will now be able to sell more of their products to the EU under the preferential arrangements, where before they would have been excluded. Further changes to rules of origin for the EPA countries are possible as it is open to these countries to request areas for further relaxation. The form that these changes will take will depend on the negotiations which take place in the coming year.

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English Language

Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much his Department has spent on English language classes for staff in the last year for which figures are available. [177426]

Mr. Malik: English language training for staff appointed in country (SAIC) is encouraged in many DFID offices, particularly where English is not the most common second language. For example, DFID Rwanda successfully recently ran English language lessons for SAIC, one at basic level and one at intermediate level.

It is not possible to break down our training costs, to provide the amounts spent on English language training, without incurring a disproportionate cost.

HIV Infection: Medical Treatments

Dr. Naysmith: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps he is taking to support national governments to encourage the provision of co-trimoxazole to all HIV-exposed children (a) as a prophylaxis and (b) for the treatment of opportunistic infections; and if he will make a statement. [176042]

Mr. Malik: Preventing and treating opportunistic infections are vital components of caring for and treating people, including children, living with HIV. A UK-supported trial in Zambia has shown that providing cotrimoxazole to children with HIV reduced mortality by as much as 43 per cent.

DFID is in the forefront of strengthening health systems and improving access to essential drugs. Cotrimoxazole is on the World Health Organisation's essential drugs list and interventions that improve availability of essential drugs will improve access to it. Essential drugs are intended to be available within the context of functioning health systems at all times in adequate amounts, in the appropriate dosage forms, with assured quality and at a price the individual and the community can afford.

DFID is also working with governments to strengthen their distribution systems for essential drugs. In Zambia we are working with the World Bank to develop a pilot for innovative ways to improve delivery in the public distribution system.

HIV Infection: Overseas Aid

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make it his policy to earmark at least 10 per cent. of his Department's HIV and AIDS funding for children affected by HIV in the new HIV and AIDS Strategy; and if he will make a statement. [176887]

Mr. Malik: ‘Taking Action: the UK's strategy for tackling HIV and AIDS in the developing world’, included the commitment to spend at least £150 million on supporting orphans and vulnerable children, out of a total commitment to spend £1.5 billion on tackling HIV and AIDS over the 2005-08 period. We are currently updating ‘Taking Action’. The needs and
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rights of children affected by AIDS will remain a UK priority when the updated strategy is published this year.

Kenya: Financial Institutions

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps he is taking to support microfinance institutions during the political disturbances in Kenya. [177864]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: Since January 2005 the UK has supported Kenyan microfinance institutions through the multi-donor funded Financial Sector Deepening Trust (£19 million in total since inception) that aims to increase access to financial services for the poor. The trust is an independent entity overseen by a multi-stakeholder board. The trust is currently exploring setting up an emergency facility for the industry to help microfinance institutions assist in the recovery efforts in Kenya.

Kenya: Overseas Aid

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what changes the Government plan to make to the DFID-Kenya country programme following recent events in that country; and if he will make a statement. [177880]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: In 2007-08 DFID provided 5£0 million in aid to Kenya. The UK's aid programme in Kenya is directed largely at supporting health, education and social protection for poor Kenyans, and at improving governance in the country; any suspension of the programme would inevitably have a direct and immediate negative impact on the poorest people. It is too early to make decisions about any long-term impact on our aid programme, but we are keeping the programme under review to make sure that it continues to best meet the needs of the poorest Kenyans.

The size and content of the future programme will reflect the extent to which political differences can be resolved and the extent to which we can have an effective development relationship with whatever government emerges from the current crisis.

The DFID team in Kenya are monitoring the humanitarian situation closely. We have contributed £1 million to an appeal by the Red Cross and will provide additional support if needed.

Mott MacDonald

Mike Gapes: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development in what UK aid projects Mott MacDonald have participated in the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement. [175727]

Mr. Thomas: The contracts awarded by the Department for International Development to Mott MacDonald are listed in the following table for the period April 1997 to March 2007. All contracts were awarded following standard procurement procedures. The main focus of Mott MacDonald's involvement
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with DFID has been in relation to the delivery of development projects to help country governments and partners to reduce poverty.

These figures do not include lower-value contracts issued by DFID's overseas offices, which could be obtained only by incurring disproportionate cost. Those showing a zero value are framework agreements, which allow individual contracts to be called down as required.

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Contract/project title Country Value (£)

Sichuan urban environment project



Electrical power study



Montserrat—emergency fuel facilities—assessment of development option



Specialist advisory support for the Jiangyin suspension bridge project



Betacop—overview study of the final requirements—the rehabilitation of the high voltage transmission system



Appraisal mission Tanesco diesel stations maintenance



Environmental management and compliance monitoring



Road sector: objective evaluation for bio-engineering



Left bank outfall drain special studies



Preparation of Betacop



St. Petersburg water: institutional development plan



Bridges for feeder roads



Consultancy to assist marine safety improvement project



Betacop preparations transmission systems: initial overflow and flow modelling



Recruitment of short-term consultancy sub-station specialist



Airstrip feasibility study



St. Petersburg water implementation programme for corporate development support project



Review of Scada project



Water sector development programme—design phase



Emergency assessment of Sri Salem power station



Betsup joint power co-ordination centre: stage ii institutional support



Montserrat LPG study

Global (non project specific)


Montserrat—Carrs Bay fuel depot



DFID response to world commission on dams

United Kingdom


Overseas territories— global environment facility

Global (non project specific)


Provision of professional advice and specialist human resources

Global (non project specific)


Northern environmental management and rehabilitation project



Strengthening capacity in environmental project development



Study on private sector participation in tertiary level service delivery of water and sanitation

United Kingdom


Strengthening capacity in environmental project preparation

Czech Republic


Assistance to china water law review



Supporting municipal decision making on private sector involvement in the provision of water and waste



Consultant support scoping exercise development capacity in Kavre district development



Sewage collection treatment and disposal consultancy—phase 1

St. Helena


Advice to infrastructure and urban development dept in the engineering sector

Global (non project specific)


Water resources demand management



Emergency infrastructure project.



Water and sanitation advisor



Review of DFID support to the international programme for technology research in irrigation and drainage

Non specific country


Water sector programme— interim asset development team leader



Restructuring of the water department



Southern Iraq employment and services programme



Paper on provision of infrastructure services in post conflict situations

United Kingdom


Support towards reviewing petroleum energy supply system



Tsunami— water supply strategy (advisor)



Construction sector transparency initiative— design consultancy

United Kingdom


Project completion review and report for district maintenance offices capacity building programme



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