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The accuracy of all figures is subject to the availability of relevant data and may be subject to revision. Figures for 2003 and 2005 update those provided in the answer given by my predecessor on 13 March 2006, Official Report, column 1951W.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many unexpected defects in new classes of ships entering service since 2006 have been reported; and what the defect was in each case. [193095]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: No new classes of RN ships have entered service since 2006 though the Bay class of ships has entered service with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. But, as explained in an answer from my predecessor to the hon. Member for Portsmouth, South (Mr. Hancock) on 5 December 2006, Official Report, column 373W, making public the temporary defects in equipment onboard Royal Navy ships would allow an assessment to be made of the operational capability of the fleet and disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness and security of our armed forces.

Weapons: Testing

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on which days in 2008 to date test firings of CHARM3 tank ammunition have taken place; what the reasons were for these test firings; and what further tests are planned in 2008. [194131]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Test firings of 20 rounds of 120 mm CHARM 3 Challenger Tank ammunition took place on 11 and 12 March 2008. No further firings are planned.

The CHARM 3 round is the main anti-armour nature used by the British Army and there is an ongoing requirement for its capability. The shelf life of
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the stockpile is due to expire in 2009 and, as is normal practice where there is a continuing requirement, arrangements were made to extend its life. As part of the life extension programme, rigorous in-service surveillance testing is required to ensure that the munitions remain safe and suitable for continued service. The final element of this process involved live proof firings at Kirkcudbright.

International Development

Afghanistan: Education

Dr. Blackman-Woods: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what funding his Department is providing for education in Afghanistan (a) in budget support, (b) directly to non-governmental organisations and (c) by other means in 2007-08. [194519]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: The Department for International Development (DFID) supports the education sector by putting the majority of our money through the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF). Through our contribution to the ARTF, DFID helps to fund the Afghan Government’s recurrent budget which pays the salaries of public servants, including teachers. Since 2002 we have contributed £240 million to the ARTF, including £55 million this financial year. We plan to contribute £60 million in 2008-09. DFID does not provide for education in Afghanistan via budget support or directly through NGOs.

Afghanistan: Child Mortality

Dr. Blackman-Woods: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to advance progress towards Millennium Development Goal 4 in Afghanistan. [194517]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: There have been significant improvements in meeting Millennium Development Goal 4 (decreasing child mortality) in Afghanistan since 2001: infant mortality has reduced to 135 per 1,000 in 2006 from 165 per 1,000 in 2003 and 76 per cent. of children under the age of five have been immunised against childhood diseases.

The Department of International Development provides support to the health sector by funding the Afghan Government’s recurrent budget which pays the salaries of public servants, including doctors and health workers. Since 2002 we have contributed £240 million to the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF), including £55 million this financial year. We plan to contribute £60 million in 2008-09.

Afghanistan: Malnutrition

Dr. Blackman-Woods: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to tackle malnutrition amongst under-fives in Afghanistan. [194521]


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Mr. Douglas Alexander: The Department for International Development (DFID) assists the Afghan Government in tackling malnutrition amongst under-fives and provides support to the health sector by funding the Afghan Government’s recurrent budget which pays the salaries of public servants, including doctors and health workers. Since 2002 we have contributed £240 million to the ARTF, including £55 million this financial year. We plan to contribute £60 million in 2008-09. This contribution has led to 82 per cent. of the population living in districts that have access to a Basic Package of Health Services. In addition DFID has just provided £3 million of emergency funding to a joint appeal from the Government of Afghanistan and the World Food Programme to address the current food shortages facing the most vulnerable families in Afghanistan.

Africa: Overseas Aid

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which UK bilateral aid programmes are under way in (a) Mauritania, (b) Sierra Leone, (c) Tanzania, (d) Congo and (e) Gambia; and what the (i) duration and (ii) cost is of each. [194848]

Mr. Malik: Of the countries listed, the Department for International Development (DFID) only has bilateral programmes in Sierra Leone, Tanzania and the Gambia. Details of DFID’s spending plans for 2007-08 were published in the Departmental Annual Report 2007 which can be found at:

Departmental Data Protection

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether confidential or personal information has been compromised through the loss of property from his Department since 1997. [193443]

Mr. Malik: Except in exceptional cases, when it is in the public interest, it has been the policy of successive Governments not to comment on breaches of security. However, following the publication of the Data Handling Procedures in Government: Interim Progress Report on 17 December 2007, Official Report, column 98WS, all Departments will cover information assurance issues in their annual reports.

Departmental Internet

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many Wikipedia entries have been (a) created and (b) amended (i) by (A) special advisers, (B) Ministers and (C) communications officials and (ii) from IP addresses of (1) special advisers, (2) Ministers and (3) communications officials in his Department since August 2005. [185531]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: No Wikipedia entries have been created or amended by special advisers, Ministers or communications officials of the Department. It is not possible to obtain IP address information without incurring disproportionate cost.


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Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many (a) country-co-ordinating mechanisms, (b) UN agencies and (c) civil society organisations his Department met to discuss either the development of proposals for or implementation of Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria grant funding in 2007. [187433]

Gillian Merron: The Department for International Development holds regular meetings with country co-ordinating mechanisms, UN agencies and civil society organisations—both at headquarters and country levels—at which Global Fund grant funding is discussed.

We do not keep a record of the number of meetings we have held to discuss the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria grant funding.

HIV Infection: Overseas Aid

Nigel Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) what steps he is taking to secure G8 agreement to firm (a) plans and (b) timetables for the implementation of commitments on HIV and AIDS made at the 2007 Heiligendamm G8 summit; and if he will make a statement; [194302]

(2) if he will take steps to ensure that universal access to HIV prevention, care, treatment and support services is a priority agenda item at (a) the forthcoming meeting of G8 Development Ministers and (b) the forthcoming G8 summit; and what estimate he has made of the level of funding (i) necessary to enable universal access to these services by 2010 and (ii) to be contributed towards this goal by G8 countries; [194303]

(3) what estimate he has made of the size of contribution to be made by the UK towards fulfilling the commitments made at the 2007 G8 summit to provide by 2010 (a) $1.5 billion towards universal access to prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV services and (b) $1.8 billion towards universal access to paediatric HIV treatment; [194304]

(4) what estimate he has made of the funding still required to achieve the commitment at the 2007 G8 summit to enable distribution of between $6 billion and $8 billion by the Global Fund by 2010; and what assessment he has made of the likely sources for such funding. [194305]

Mr. Thomas: The UK is pushing G8 colleagues to ensure that fulfilling and implementing previous summit commitments is a priority both for the forthcoming meeting of G8 Development Ministers and at this year’s Leaders’ summit. The G8 in 2007 committed to scale up their efforts to achieve universal access, including to provide a projected $60 billion. The UK will be pressing G8 and other colleagues to contribute their share towards the goal of universal access.

A record $10 billion is estimated to have been spent globally tackling HIV and AIDS in 2007, which is a 10-fold increase on 2000 spending. UNAIDS have estimated that, to achieve universal access by 2010, global spending must accelerate to between $30 and $50 billion in 2010.


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The UK is the second largest Government funder of AIDS-related assistance in the world, behind the US, and has pledged to spend £1.5 billion in tackling HIV and AIDS in developing countries between 2005 and 2008. The UK is committed to the goal of universal access to comprehensive HIV prevention services (including to prevent mother-to-child infection), treatment (including paediatric AIDS treatment), care and support. We are equally committed to paying our fair share and we expect partners to do the same.

In September 2007, the UK made an unprecedented commitment of up to £1 billion to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM) up to 2015. The Board of the Global Fund expects that demand to the Global Fund could reach $6 billion per year by 2010, and could rise as high as $8 billion if demand from countries is greatly strengthened.

At the GFATM replenishment conference in September 2007, international donors pledged a total of around $6.3 billion for the three-year period to 2010. The Global Fund Secretariat estimates that a further $3.4 billion has been pledged since then, making a total of $9.7 billion. This is a significant increase in resources which will allow the Fund to support a substantial expansion of all ongoing programmes, and to launch new programmes. At the last funding round of the GFATM, all the programmes recommended for approval were fully funded.

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) what estimate he has made of the funding required (a) internationally and (b) from G8 countries to achieve the goal of universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services by 2010; [194369]

(2) what assessment he has made of the resources required to meet the commitment made at the G8 summit in 2007 to enable distribution by the Global Fund of between $6 billion and $8 billion by 2010; and what assessment he has made of the likely sources for such funding; [194370]

(3) what steps he is taking to ensure that the achievement of the G8 commitment of universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services by 2010 remains a priority agenda item at this year’s G8 summit; [194371]

(4) what steps he plans to take to encourage leaders at the 2008 G8 summit to bring forward plans and timetables for delivering commitments made on HIV and AIDS at the 2007 G8 summit, including (a) the $1.5 billion promised for Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission services by 2010 and (b) the $1.8 billion promised for paediatric treatment by 2010. [194372]

Mr. Thomas: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I have given today to my hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh, South (Nigel Griffiths) (UIN numbers 194302, 194303, 194304 and 194305).

Kosovo: Overseas Aid

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what aid his Department has given to Kosovo in the last period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [194226]


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Mr. Malik: The Department for International Development (DFID) provided Kosovo with £3.2 million of bilateral assistance in 2006-07.

The UK’s imputed share of multilateral official development assistance to Serbia and Montenegro (including Kosovo) in 2005 was £21.9 million. Multilateral shares data for 2006 will be published in DFID’s Annual Report in May 2008, reporting separate figures for Montenegro and Serbia (including Kosovo).

Overseas Aid: Cost Effectiveness

Geraldine Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department takes to monitor value for money of international aid where funding is given directly to the Government of a developing country. [194783]

Mr. Thomas: Department for International Development (DFID) programme documents set out the objectives that we aim to achieve with our resources and a monitoring framework to enable us to track progress. We carry out reviews, normally with other donors, at least annually. As our aid money is mixed with the government’s own revenue, we monitor the impact of our aid and the Government’s own spending on growth and poverty reduction. Providing aid direct to Governments enables us to engage with the Government on the value for money of their overall budget. We also use our aid to strengthen Governments’ ability to monitor the value for money achieved through their own programmes. The newly established Investment Committee will increase focus on value for money across DFID.

An independent evaluation of budget support which reported in 2006 assessed a total of US $4 billion provided as budget support from all donors in seven partner countries between 1994 and 2004. This found that, in the right circumstances, budget support has strengthened countries’ public financial management systems, improved the efficiency of their public expenditure and increased the services provided by partner Governments, particularly in health and education.

Written Questions: Government Responses

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when he expects to reply to the question tabled on 4 February 2008 by the hon. Member for Eddisbury on Wikipedia (185531). [195199]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: The answer to the hon. Member’s parliamentary question has been issued.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Admiralty House

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 5 March 2008, Official Report, column 2564W, on Admiralty House, which commercial contractors were used to conduct the deep clean of the former residence of the right hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull (Mr. Prescott). [195239]


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Meg Munn: The deep cleaning was carried out by the Cabinet Office’s facilities management company, Ecovert FM.

Afghanistan: Armed Forces

Dr. Blackman-Woods: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment his Department has made of levels of recruitment of children by armed groups in Afghanistan. [194518]

Dr. Howells: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has made no formal assessment of the recruitment of children by armed groups in Afghanistan. According to the report of the UN Secretary-General on children and armed conflict (A/62/609-S/2007/757), children have been used in suicide attacks and as human shields in Afghanistan. We condemn all attacks, but they are of particular concern when they are carried out by minors.

Colombia: Human Rights

Ms Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the Answer of 3 March 2008, Official Report, column 2143W, on Colombia, what the evidential basis is for his statement that illegal armed groups, including the FARC, are committing the majority of human rights abuses in Colombia. [194877]

Dr. Howells: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave her on 3 March 2008, Official Report, column 2143W, and the 2007 report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) (UN General Assembly document A/HRC/4/48) cited in my answer.

The UNHCHR 2008 report (UN General Assembly document A/HRC/7/39) has now been published. It states:


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