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11 Mar 2008 : Column 282W—continued


Between 1 July and 31 December 2006 three transactions above the value of £25,000 were made in the DFID Ethiopia office. Funds were received from the Department’s headquarters in the UK and converted to local currency in-country.

Pound sterling (£) transformed to birr Equivalent in £ Exchange Rate (£ to birr) Commission

1 August 2006





15 August 2006





4 October 2006





Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (International Banking Division)

Chad: Asylum

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps the Government has taken to assist the Cameroon Government with providing food and shelter for refugees from Chad. [192357]

Gillian Merron: The UK Government are assisting the Cameroon Government’s response through a contribution to the United Nations (UN). The UN has recently released $4.72 million for the delivery of emergency relief to the refugees. This has come from the UN’s Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF), to which the UK is the largest donor. The UK’s share of the contribution in this response is approximately 20 per cent., giving a UK contribution of £462,000.

The contribution helped support the World Food Programme (WFP) with the provision of high energy biscuits (HEB) in the first few days of the crisis, and with the ongoing provision of cereals, pulses and vegetable oil to the refugees still remaining in northern Cameroon. These number approximately 15,000.

The contribution is also being used by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to address the immediate nutritional needs of refugee children suffering from acute malnutrition.

The UK contribution is also being used by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for the provision of shelter for refugees, both at the immediate crossing point from Chad, and at a more secure and appropriate site to which the refugees are being transferred, some 30 km away from the border.

Children: Malnutrition

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent steps the Government has taken to assist developing countries to end child malnutrition. [192355]

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Gillian Merron: The UK Government are working to address the underlying causes of chronic malnutrition by supporting essential public services, such as the provision of health, water, sanitation and education. The Department for International Development has spent £400 million over the last three years to increase poor people’s access to food through improving rural transport, improvements in crop and livestock production, strengthening markets, and investing in agricultural research and development. The UK is working with international partners like the United Nations Children’s Fund to address child malnutrition.

Departmental Advertising

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which of his Department's programmes were advertised to the public in each of the last 10 years; and what the cost of each advertising campaign was. [192465]

Gillian Merron: There has been no advertising of Department for International Development individual programmes to the public.

Departmental Recruitment

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether the policy of British jobs for British workers will affect his Department’s recruitment policy. [179885]

Gillian Merron: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 3 March 2008, Official Report, columns 2206-07W, by the Parliamentary Secretary for the Cabinet Office (Mr. Watson).

Developing Countries: Food

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which countries in receipt of UK development assistance import more than (a) 25 per cent. and (b) 50 per cent. of food consumed by their populations. [192503]

Gillian Merron: 66 developing countries received more than £1 million of DFID bilateral assistance (including DFID debt relief) in 2006-07 (the last year for which we have figures).

(a) Of these, the following countries import more than 25 per cent. of their food by weight but less than 50 per cent:

(b) The following countries import more than 50 per cent. of their food by weight:

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The data (derived from the Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute) do not distinguish those food imports that can be used for animal food and other non-human consumption and those that are used for human consumption.

Global Schools Partnership

Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many schools in (a) Wales and (b) the UK have taken part in the Global Schools Partnership in the last three years for which records are available. [192553]

Gillian Merron: A total of (a) 102 schools in Wales, and (b) 1,235 schools in the United Kingdom as a whole, have taken part in the DFID Global School Partnerships programme in the period from 1 April 2005 to 29 February 2008.

HIV Infection

Keith Hill: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how his Department's revised HIV and AIDS strategy will promote a comprehensive approach to HIV prevention that (a) is effective for women and girls and (b) is based on evidence of what works. [192736]

Gillian Merron: Following a public consultation the UK Government are currently updating ‘Taking Action—The UK's strategy for tackling HIV and AIDS in the developing world’. The updated AIDS strategy will continue to place women and girls at its heart and to promote an AIDS response which is based on evidence and best practice.

Sudan: Overseas Aid

Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what progress has been made in restoring access to humanitarian aid by the civilian population in Western Darfur in light of the activities of Sudanese and Chadian armed forces in the region and attacks on aid convoys; and if he will make a statement. [192024]

Gillian Merron: On 11 February, the Government of Sudan lifted its blockade against humanitarian agencies, which have now resumed humanitarian flights and providing emergency assistance, including non-food items and medicines, to conflict-affected people, but the protection of civilians remains a major concern. Humanitarian agencies are still unable to access the Jebel Moun area, where fighting was ongoing by the end of February, but humanitarian activities have since resumed close to the Chadian border south of El-Geneina.

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I would refer the hon. Gentleman to the statement made by my right hon. Friends, the Foreign and International Development Secretaries, on 27 February, which called on all parties to stop the violence; to allow immediate humanitarian access; to protect civilians; and to facilitate the deployment of UNAMID.

Sudan: Politics and Government

Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment he has made of the humanitarian situation in Darfur. [192737]

Gillian Merron [holding answer 10 March 2008]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer that I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Glenrothes (Mr. MacDougall) on 4 March 2008, Official Report, column 2252W.


Humanitarian Aid

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Minister for the Olympics pursuant to the answer of 21 February 2008, Official Report, column 835, on humanitarian aid, which Government department employs the Humanitarian Assistance Unit staff; what contribution the Department of Culture, Media and Sport makes to the unit; and which other departments make contributions. [191142]

Tessa Jowell: The Humanitarian Assistance Unit staff are employed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). DCMS also funds the work of the unit.

The following Departments and agencies contribute to the work of the unit, through the humanitarian assistance programme board: the Home Office, the Ministry of Justice, the Department for Communities and Local Government, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department of Health, the Cabinet Office, the Treasury, the Department for Work and Pensions, the Local Government Association, the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services.

Innovation, Universities and Skills


Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills for what reasons the figure of 250,000 existing apprenticeships, as referred to in the press release of 16 November 2007, “Ambitious Plans to Help Boost Nation’s Job Prospects”, is different from the figures for apprenticeships provided for (a) 16 to 18-year-olds and (b) adult learners in Table three and Table seven of the Learning and Skills Council's Statement of Priorities issued in November 2007. [175713]

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Mr. Lammy: The figure of 250,000 is calculated by reference to “Average in Learning” (AiL), that is the average number of Apprentices during the year. This is also the basis for the figures in Table 7 of the Learning and Skills Council’s “Statement of Priorities”.

Table 3 uses a different methodology which counts the total number of Apprentices at any time during the year. This is to ensure comparability across the various funding lines for young people. The AiL numbers for 16-18 year olds are, however, also given in a footnote to the table.

We announced, in “World-class Apprenticeships”, that we are changing the way we count Apprenticeships. In place of AiL, we will count the number of people starting an Apprenticeship in the year (‘starts’) and the percentage who complete an Apprenticeship (‘completion rate’).


Aircraft Carriers

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the capacity of (a) HMS Illustrious and (b) HMS Ark Royal to remain in service until the future aircraft carriers join the fleet. [193140]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: HMS Ark Royal and HMS Illustrious are to be withdrawn from service in 2012 and 2015 respectively. Our plans allow both ships to be fully supported in service until their scheduled withdrawal in advance of the future aircraft carriers joining the fleet.

Armed Forces: Housing

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the 50 most expensive substitute service family accommodation and substitute single living accommodation properties rented out in the last 12 months were. [168873]

Derek Twigg: The information requested will take time to collate. I will write to the hon. Member and place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.

Substantive answer from Derek Twigg to Nick Harvey:

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Officers SFA entitlement
Type Persons (m aximum) Size (m2) Navy Army RAF




Admiral to Rear Admiral

General to Major General

Air Chief Marshall to Air Vice Marshall




Rear Admiral to Captain

Brigadier to Colonel

Air Commodore to Group Captain




Commodore to Commander

Colonel to Lt. Colonel

Group Captain to Wing Commander




Lt. Commander


Squadron Leader




Lieutenant and below


Squadron Leader

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