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Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what role the Investment Climate Facility has played in strengthening Africa's business environment since 2006; and what assessment he has made of the impact this has had on foreign direct investment in the region. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The Investment Climate Facility (ICF) became fully operational mid-2007. By March 2008, 11 projects had been approved for ICF support. The ICF is already working in five countries and on two regional programmes. Extra information on activities of the ICF is available at
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent estimate he has made of the number of people living on less than one dollar a day in sub-Saharan Africa. 
(1) Most recent estimate availablesource: Global Economic Prospects 2008, World Bank.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what progress the EU Water Initiative in Africa has made; and what the role of the UK Government has been in developing proposals for its reform. 
Gillian Merron: The EU Water Initiative has helped a number of African countries prepare their own water and sanitation plans and has played a key role on creation of the EU Water Facility that makes funds available for water and sanitation. The total fund contributed by the European Commission to the EU Water Facility is €500 million. This will enable 20 million people to gain access to safe water and 9 million to improved sanitation.
The EU Water Initiative Africa Working Group, which the UK Governments Department for International Development currently co-chairs with France, Austria and the African Ministers Council for Water, (AMCOW) aims to improve coordination between donors, developing country governments and civil society organisations. The Africa Working Group has also played a key role in mapping member state contributions to water and sanitation in Africa. Through our involvement in the Africa Working Group, we have improved the EUs relationship with the AMCOW, to the extent that water will be a specific focus at the next meeting of the African Heads of State in July 2008.
A number of key policy reforms recommended in a DFID/German funded review of the EU Water Initiative were approved in August 2007. These reforms will result in greater focus on delivery in Africa and setting clear and measurable targets, which will help the EU Water Initiative to add real value and become more accountable to its stakeholders.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to tackle gender equality and promote the rights and political participation of women in Africa. 
The UK Government are supporting gender equality and women's rights in Africa through our dialogue with development partners, and through our country programmes working with governments and civil society. Gender is mainstreamed in our Country
Action Plans and across all our programmes, with particular attention paid to sex disaggregated data and outcomes. Much of our work is focused on MDG 3 and includes an emphasis on women and girls access to education, economic opportunities, public services, political participation and decision-making, and maternal mortality. The work that we do supports the Africa Union Africa Women's Protocol on Women's Rights, which a number of African governments have ratified.
The UK Governments Department for International Development is supporting a number of programmes to specifically promote the rights and political participation of women. More details of our work on political participation and gender can be found on our website in a publication called Governance, Development and Democratic Polities which can be found at
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to tackle HIV and AIDS in Africa; and what support in this area is being provided direct to governments of African developing countries. 
Gillian Merron: The Department for International Development funds government, non-governmental and multilateral organisations to strengthen and deliver a wide range of HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care services across African countries. Achieving Universal Accessthe UKs strategy for halting and reversing the spread of HIV in the developing world (2008-15) outlines UK action globally and highlights the need to prevent new HIV infections as well as maintain treatment for people living with HIV and AIDS. The strategy commits £6 billion to strengthening health systems and services until 2015, a significant proportion of which will be spent in Africa. A copy of the updated strategy and supporting evidence paper have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses. These are also available on the Department for International Development (DFID) website:
DFID provides direct support to national HIV and AIDS strategies and plans in a number of African countries via technical assistance and financing (eg Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria). DFID also provides funding towards HIV/AIDS in Africa via multilateral institutions, such as UNAIDS, WHO and the World Bank, and global funds. For example the UK has committed £1 billion (2007-15) to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria for Africa and other regions.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what process is followed for awarding contracts for aid projects in Africa; and what criteria are used for determining the best tender. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The Department for International Development (DFID) is committed to fair, transparent, and open competition. All contracts above certain financial thresholds are tendered through international competition, in accordance with the EU Public Procurement directives and the code of good practice issued by the Office of Government Commerce. This involves:
publishing a contract notice in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU), allowing at least 37 days for the submission of expressions of interest;
issuing invitations to tender (ITTs), allowing at least 40 days for bidders to submit proposals;
making decision of award; and
awarding the contract.
For contracts valued below £90,319, DFID may choose to run a mini-competition by inviting a number of suppliers to submit a proposal. Alternatively we may approach a contractor directly to undertake a specific piece of work.
Gillian Merron: The Department for International Development's 2006 White Paper Making Governance Work for the Poor put governance considerations at the heart of all UK aid programmesa copy can be found at
DFID works with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to produce Country Governance Analysis reports looking at the quality of governance in all major partner countries in Africa. These inform DFID programmes to improve governance through building state capability, improving accountability, and encouraging responsiveness to citizens, needs.
DFID has carefully targeted governance improvement programmes in all our focal countries in Africa. In 2007 DFID produced a publication titled Governance, Development and Democratic Politics: DFID's work in building more effective states. This publication provides much more detail on our approach to governance and gives specific examples of programmes promoting good governance in our partner countries and can be found at
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which contractors received funding from his Department in the 2007-08 financial year in relation to projects in Africa. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The following table contains the names of contractors who received funding from DFID during 2007-08 in relation to projects in Africa. This does not include payments made to contractors for low-value contracts issued by individual departments and overseas offices under delegated authority. These details are not held centrally and could not be produced without incurring disproportionate costs.
Adam Smith International Ltd
Atos Consulting Limited
BMB Mott Macdonald
Cambridge Education Consultants
Cardiff And Vale Enterprise
Care International Uk
Charles Kendall And Partners Limited
Coffey International Development Ltd
D P Russell
DAI Europe Limited
Development In Practice
ECI Africa Consulting (PTY) LTD
Emerging Markets Group
Ernst And Young Ghana
Family Health International
Garlic (UK) Ltd
GRM International Ltd
Harewelle International Limited
Health Partners International
Helm Corporation Ltd
Imani Development International Ltd
Intematical (PTY) Ltd
International Organisation Development
JAN Consulting Ltd
Kolawole A Sofola
KPMG East Africa
Lisa Curtis Associates
Liverpool Associates in Trop. Health
LTS International Ltd
Masdar (UK) Limited
Moore Stephens LLP
Mr G and Mrd E Horlacher
Natural Resources Institute
Overseas Development Institute
Oxford Policy Management
PLW Development Solutions Ltd
Population Services International
Public Administration International
Saana Consulting Ltd
Social Development Direct Ltd
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