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Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what estimate he has made of the number of Chadians who are (a) resident in internally displaced peoples camps and (b) refugees; and what steps his Department is taking to provide assistance to such people. 
Gillian Merron: There are currently approximately 180,000 internally displaced people in Chad, the vast majority of them distributed across sites in the east of the country. In 2007-08, the UK Government have committed £6.5 million in Chad through humanitarian agencies to collectively address the needs of the internally displaced, the refugees and the host population. This support has been used for the provision of water and sanitation facilities, food, medical assistance, shelter and other relief items to these groups.
The recent attack by rebels on NDjamena (the capital of Chad) resulted in the flight of refugees into neighbouring Cameroon; approximately 10,000 still remain there. The United Nations recently made an allocation of approximately £2.4 million for these refugees from its Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF), to which the UK is the largest donor (20 per cent.).
Approximately 25,000 Chadian refugees also reside in Sudan. These receive indirect support from the UK through the UNs Common Humanitarian Fund in Sudan, to which the UK is contributing £35 million in this financial year.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what progress has been made on the funding of the public-private product development partnerships for diagnostics for neglected diseases. 
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced over $60 million in support for TB diagnostics research in September 2007 in a grant to the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), who also receive funding from the Dutch Government, EU and USAID. DFID staff have had a number of meetings with FIND and we will be considering funding for diagnostics in the context of DFIDs new research strategy 2008-13.
Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment his Department has made of the merits of including in the millennium development goals framework equity objectives to close the gap in child mortality between the richest and poorest 20 per cent. of developing countries' populations. 
Gillian Merron: The UK Government believe that equity objectives do currently underpin the millennium development goals' framework. The millennium declaration clearly states that signatories accept a collective responsibility to uphold the principles of human dignity, equality and equity at the global level, with a particular duty to children.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many press office staff were employed by (a) his Department, (b) its agencies and (c) its non-departmental public bodies (i) in each year since 1996-97 and (ii) at the latest date for which information is available. 
Gillian Merron: The Department for International Development (DFID) does not have any agencies, and is responsible for two non-departmental public bodiesthe Crown Agents Holding and Realisation Board and the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission, which do not have any press officers. The number of such staff in DFID since 1997, when the department was established, is shown in the following table:
Gillian Merron [holding answer 29 February 2008]: The economic outlook for Sierra Leone is favourable, although fragile and highly vulnerable to external shocks. The economy grew at sustained pace (8 to 9 per cent. per year) since the end of the hostilities in 2002, and is expected to continue to expand at 6.5 per cent. in 2008, in line with the sub-Saharan African average. Inflation, around 12 per cent. in 2007, is expected to decline to single digit by the end of 2008. Business confidence was boosted by the peaceful outcome of the September 2007 elections, with an increase of private investment, especially in the construction and hospitality industry, and new entrants in the banking sector.
Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what support his Department provides to civil society in developing countries to hold their governments to account on their observance of United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child obligations. 
Gillian Merron: In several developing countries, the Department for International Development funds civil society specifically to hold governments to account for meeting commitments made under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). This commonly takes the form of strengthening local groups representing children to demand that governments take all available measures to make sure children's rights are respected, protected and fulfilled.
The UK Government also support child-focused international non-government organisations (NGOs) such as Save the Children and Plan International who work to strengthen international mechanisms and develop indicators to measure governments' compliance with the UNCRC and other international law.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department further to the Ministerial letter of 31st January 2006 responding to the recommendations in the Animal Procedures Committees 2005 report on the Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals, what her policy is on (a) exploring the scope for reporting the true origin of animals when this differs from their proximate source and (b) dividing the category of origin, where this differs from source, into the same categories as those for sources of Schedule 2 animals. 
Meg Hillier: With regard to the origin of animals, the present format of the Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals is consistent with current European reporting requirements. We will give further consideration to this recommendation when the European Commission publishes revised statistical reporting requirements as part of the current review of Directive 86/609/EEC, which the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 transposes into UK law.
Mr. Byrne [holding answer 27 February 2008]: The Gateway Protection Programme has been in operation since 2004 and resettles a small number of nationalities each year. Applications are submitted by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to the Border and Immigration Agency. As of 25 February 2008, UNHCR has applied on behalf of 131 Iraqi citizens (including dependants) for consideration within the Gateway Programme.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many employees of the UK Border and Immigration Agency are stationed outside the UK; and in which countries they are working. 
|Country||Number of BIA employees as at 27 February 2008|
|(1) Floaters are staff working in specific roles (e.g. entry clearance officer) who are posted to a variety of locations during their overseas tour of duty to provide temporary cover. Note: The large numbers of BIA staff working in Belgium and France reflect the operational staff from Border Control who staff the juxtaposed controls in both countries.|
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