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Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking on flexibilities in the World Trade Organisation's Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement to deliver affordable generic medicines for the treatment of HIV/AIDS. 
Gillian Merron: The UK Government support the right of developing countries to utilise flexibilities in the World Trade Organization's Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), and in particular to facilitate access to cheaper medicines, including for the treatment of HIV/AIDS. This includes the right to produce, export or import generic medicines under a compulsory licence.
The Department for International Development has also financed a number of organisations including the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) to provide support to developing countries to make better use of their TRIPS flexibilities, including compulsory licensing.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what progress has been made by his Department towards meeting the G8 commitment to universal access to treatment for HIV and AIDS by 2010; and what funds his Department has allocated to furthering progress in the next two years. 
Gillian Merron: By the end of 2006, more than 2 million people in developing countries were taking anti-retroviral treatmentup from 100,000 in 2001. Progress towards universal access will be assessed during 2008 at the high level meeting on AIDS.
The UK remains fully committed to ensuring universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support and is the second largest Government funder of AIDS-related assistance in the world. Last September the UK made an unprecedented long-term commitment to provide up to £1 billion to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM) up to 2015.
Ms Keeble: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what (a) development and (b) humanitarian aid to Kenya his Department (i) provided in each of the last five years and (ii) has provided since the elections. 
|(1) Of which 2.226 since elections.|
Since the election crisis the Department for International Development (DFID) has made no payments to the Kenyan Government. DFID has provided over £2 million of humanitarian assistance and £3 million of development aid to organisations such as Red Cross and Medecins Sans Frontieres Belgium.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent steps the Government has taken to encourage developing countries to assist mothers in protecting their babies from the impact of HIV. 
Gillian Merron [holding answer 11 March 2008]: The UK Government are working to strengthen health systems to ensure that women in poor countries have access to high quality ante natal, maternity and family planning services, so that they can protect their babies from the impact of HIV.
In developing countries there are significant gaps in the provision of these services and the UK Government are working to ensure that women in poor countries have the same choices as those in the developed world.
The International Health Partnership, which was launched by the Prime Minister in September 2007, will help to ensure that donor resources are better co-ordinated, that they back strong national health development plans and that they focus on strengthening the health systems to deliver better services.
Mr. Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assistance his Department has offered to the government of Namibia following the floods in northern and central regions of that country. 
Gillian Merron: The UK Government will be providing assistance to the government of Namibias flood relief efforts through a contribution of £50,000 to the Red Cross. The money will be spent on first aid, replacement household items and the provision of clean water for about 24,000 of the most affected people.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment his Department has made of the humanitarian impact of the fighting in Darfur in the last 12 months; what assessment his Department has made of the effects of the operations in the Jabel Moun area in Darfur by the Sudanese army in February 2008 on the delivery of humanitarian aid; what discussions (a) he and (b) his officials have had with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on diplomatic steps to resolve the humanitarian situation in Darfur; and if he will make a statement. 
Gillian Merron: About 380,000 people have been displaced in Darfur since January 2007, and numbers are still rising. As a result humanitarian indicators, such as malnutrition, are starting to rise above emergency thresholds for the first time since 2004. Due to ongoing fighting, humanitarian agencies are still unable to access the Jebel Moun area.
The Prime Minister has made it clear that Darfur is a high priority for the UK. On 27 February my right hon. Friends, the Foreign and International Development Secretaries, made a joint statement that called on all parties to stop the violence; to allow immediate humanitarian access; to protect civilians; and to facilitate the deployment of UNAMID.
The Department for International Development (DFID) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) continue to work together to resolve the humanitarian situation in Darfur and the UK Government are the second largest bilateral donor to Sudan.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the effects of banditry on the delivery of the World Food Programme supplies to internally displaced persons in Darfur; what estimate he has made of the proportion of food aid earmarked for internally displaced people in Darfur which reached the intended destination in the latest period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
Gillian Merron: All humanitarian agencies operating in Darfur have been affected by insecurity, with implications for staff safety and aid delivery. The World Food Programme (WFP), because of its size and logistical complexity, has been particularly hard hit, with 37 food trucks hijacked since the start of the year and 23 drivers still missing. In January 2008, the last month for which data are available, WFP was unable to reach 133,000 people in Darfur, of their total target of 2 million. As a result of WFP's and other agencies' lack of access to vulnerable populations, malnutrition rates are already climbing over the emergency threshold for the first time since 2004.
Mr. Andrew Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development for what reasons the Government have not signed the UN Convention on Watercourses; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Thomas: The Department for International Development (DFID) has undertaken an analysis of the development benefits of UK accession to the UN Convention on the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses. DFID has also discussed this with other bilateral agencies and specialist water agencies, and sought views from other Government Departments to reach a joint conclusion. On the basis of the evidence available, the development benefits identified have not been shown to be significant. After 10 years only 16 countries have ratified or acceded to the convention. With 35 countries required there is little immediate prospect of it entering into force.
DFID recognises that the existence of the convention is helpful and its principles have been applied. DFID provides support to regional water initiatives in South Asia, the Nile Basin and the Middle East and is considering support in other shared waters. In none of the cases where we provide support is accession to the convention considered necessary.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people who worked for each of his Departments agencies have been dismissed for gross incompetence since each agency was established. 
The information provided in the table reflects data recorded on that system for the number of staff dismissed because of unsatisfactory work performance. Information is not available from this system prior to April 2007.
|Dismissal reason unsatisfactory work performanceApril to December 2007|
Mr. David Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what consultations his Department held with the Public and Commercial Services Union before the announcement of the proposal to reduce its staffing levels by 12,000 in the next three years; what assessment he has made of the effect of the reductions on his Departments delivery of services; and how many of the proposed job losses will be in the North East. 
Mrs. McGuire: The Department gave a full briefing to its Trade Unions prior to publication of its Three Year Business Plan 2008-2011, which covered the planned reduction in our workforce over the 2007 Spending Review period.
The Departments Three Year Business Plan 2008-2011, which was published on 28 February, also sets out the Departments assessment of how it intends to improve the service it offers customers over this period, in particular by further focusing its services on customer need. Detailed business-level planning is currently being undertaken, and at this stage it is too early to provide regional workforce plans.
|Year ending 31 March:||Number of recruits over age 55|
Mrs. McGuire: The Department was created in May/June 2001. In the period since 2002-03 property to a total value of £178,000 has been recorded as lost or stolen in the Department's fixed asset register. Information is not available on the cost of replacement.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether his target to reduce incapacity benefit claimants by one million by 2016 is based on a projected 2016 claimant count of one million fewer people than the comparable figure in 2006. 
Mrs. McGuire: The Welfare Reform Green Paper A new deal for welfare: Empowering people to work announced our aspiration to reduce the case load by one million over a decade. This will be measured against the case load in May 2005which stood at 2.74 million. Our goal is deliberately a stretching one and was not set on the basis that we knew it would be achieved, but to support the delivery of real change over the coming years.
We have not produced a complete assessment of the expected claimant count in May 2015. Although we make projections of the case load as part of long-term planning around public finances, we are not able to fully include the impact of new or planned policies where evidence is limited. For example, the projections for incapacity benefits include estimates of the impact of the roll-out of Pathways to Work but not detailed impacts of the introduction of employment and support allowance.
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