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Departmental Sick Leave

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many days of sick leave were taken by his Department’s employees in each year since 1997. [216692]

Mr. Malik: Details for each of the years from 1997 are not readily available without incurring disproportionate costs.

Details of the three most recent financial years show that the total numbers of days lost to sick absence in the Department for International Development were:

Number

2005-06

11,171

2006-07

9,001

2007-08

10,052


The latest civil service wide sickness absence report can be found at:


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Developing Countries: Education

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent steps the Government has taken to improve provision of education for girls in developing countries. [217135]

Gillian Merron: The UK Government have committed to spending £8.5 billion over the next 10 years to 2015 in support of education in developing countries. We are supporting developing countries’ plans, policies and programmes to ensure that girls benefit.

The UK Governments Department for International Development (DFID) works with partner governments to develop effective gender equality responses tailored to the needs of different country contexts. DFID’s 2006 review of progress of the 2005 Girls’ Education Strategy: “Towards a Better Future For All” reaffirmed commitments to strengthening our work on girls education to make a difference at country level and actions to support country-led strategies. These commitments relate to our work at international level through leadership and advocacy, and country level in participation with national governments, as well as our work with civil society.

Link to Summary of Girls Education 2005 Strategy:

Link to 2006 Progress Report of Girls Education Strategy—copies of the progress report have been placed in the House Library:

Our work with international and non-governmental organisations, particularly UNICEF and the United Nations Girls Education Initiative also help tackle social and economic barriers outside the education system that hinder girls’ participation.

DFID support to international education statistics and the Education for All global monitoring report includes a focus on gender disaggregated statistics. New policy and knowledge work on education aims to address the focus on getting the use of broader gender and poverty data (i.e. house hold survey data), incorporated within standard international education statistics. We are also in discussions with UNICEF around opening up a pilot on gender and education statistics software to use by all partners.

Developing Countries: Family Planning

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent steps the Government has taken to improve provision of family planning services in developing countries. [217136]

Gillian Merron: The Department for International Development (DFID) is working with developing country governments to accelerate access to sexual and reproductive health services. DFID is also providing significant resources to make sure that people have improved access to sexual and reproductive health supplies such as modern contraception and condoms. This enables women and men to make informed reproductive health choices. The UK’s updated AIDS strategy “Achieving Universal Access - the UK’s
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strategy for halting and reversing the spread of HIV in the developing world” emphasises the importance of integration of sexual and reproductive health and rights with actions to prevent new HIV and AIDS infections.

DFID is a strong supporter of the work of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) providing core support of £7.5 million per annum. We will also provide a total of £100 million between 2008-13 to support the United Nations Population Fund’s (UNFPA) Global Programme to Enhance Reproductive Health Commodity Security. This will benefit the sexual and reproductive health needs of women and men in developing countries including access to life saving drugs and equipment to improve maternal health.

A copy of the updated strategy “Achieving Universal Access - the UK’s strategy for halting and reversing the spread of HIV in the developing world” 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 at:

Developing Countries: Maternal Mortality

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent steps the Government has taken to reduce the numbers of women dying during childbirth in developing countries. [217134]

Gillian Merron: The Department for International Development (DFID) set out its priorities for action to improve maternal health in its 2004 strategy “Reducing maternal deaths: evidence and action”. This strategy guides DFID’s approach to helping developing countries to improve the availability of and access to life saving services for pregnant women.

Progress on strengthening health systems in poor countries is also vital if we are to accelerate progress towards achieving the maternal health millennium development goal. This is why, along with other UN health agencies and a wide range of donors and country partners, DFID has championed the International Health Partnership designed to strengthen health systems and improve in-country donor co-ordination.

On 2 June, the UK Government’s updated seven-year AIDS strategy “Achieving Universal Access - the UK’s strategy for halting and reversing the spread of HIV in the developing world” was launched. This made several new financial commitments which included £6 billion over seven years to strengthen health systems and £200 million over three years to support social protection programmes.

A copy of the updated strategy “Achieving Universal Access - the UK’s strategy for halting and reversing the spread of HIV in the developing world” 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 at:

DFID also produces an annual report of its maternal health strategy “Reducing maternal deaths: evidence and action”. The third progress report is now available on DFID’s website at:

It includes a comprehensive assessment of DFID’s actions, in partnership with developing country governments and with international organisations to reduce the number of women dying during childbirth in developing countries.

G8: Overseas Aid

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment his Department has made of whether G8 countries will achieve the 2010 commitment of $50 billion in extra annual development assistance. [216838]

Mr. Thomas: The Gleneagles Summit Communique estimated that annual Official Development Assistance (ODA) from all donors would increase by $50 billion, and ODA to Africa would increase by $25 billion, between 2004 and 2010. Over 90 per cent. of the additional ODA is committed by EU countries, who strongly reaffirmed their commitments at the European Council on 20 June. The G8 has also reconfirmed their commitments to these targets in the Tokyo Communique of 8 July.

International Development Association

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps were taken by the UK in order to secure the World Bank International Development Association’s policy changes in 2007. [217039]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: The changes to the policies of the International Development Association were unanimously agreed by over 50 delegates. The UK is satisfied with the outcomes which we believe will improve the World Bank’s effectiveness in helping to reduce poverty, tackle climate change and achieve the millennium development goals in the world’s poorest countries. Our satisfaction with the outcomes is reflected in the size of our contribution.

Overseas Aid

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development who will represent the UK at (a) the Millennium Development Goals meeting called by the UN Secretary General for September, (b) the Ghana Aid Summit in September and (c) the Financing for Development Conference in Doha in November. [216837]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: The Prime Minister plans to represent the UK at the Millennium Development Goals meeting called by the UN Secretary General for
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25 September. To date Ministers have not decided on attendance for the Accra High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness nor for the Doha Financing for Development Review Conference.

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what increased resources will be used to reward improved institutional performance, as referred to in his Department’s latest departmental report. [217037]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: Creating an effective international system is a priority for the Department for International Development (DFID). DFID has performance frameworks in place with 36 of our multilateral partners. These set out specific measurable goals and targets against which to monitor performance. DFID is increasingly using financial incentives, either as a positive incentive or as a sanction, in support of these performance management arrangements. To date, DFID has used performance related funding to encourage IDA, Regional Development Banks and UN agencies to address specific areas of poor performance.

For example, DFID recently concluded an innovative five-year agreement with the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), creating incentives for UNRWA to deliver on its own efficiency targets. DFID adopted a multi-year funding strategy to encourage reform and reward good performance and put in place an additional £2 million performance contribution for financial years 2008-09 and 2009-10, a £3 million performance contribution for years 2010-11, and £3.4 million for the final year of the arrangement.

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department takes when it judges that an institution of government in a country receiving direct or indirect funding from his Department is performing inadequately on that funding. [217045]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: The Department for International Development’s (DFID) policy is that funding is only given to partner governments who share our commitment to (i) poverty reduction and achieving the MDG’s (ii) human rights and other international obligations and (iii) improving public financial management and accountability.

If we doubt the partner government’s commitment to any of these issues, then we reassess if funding is appropriate. If necessary, we may reduce or suspend aid, or deliver in a different way.

Examples of where funding has been suspended due to a breach in commitments to uphold human rights include in Pakistan where the state of emergency called in November 2007 meant suspension of certain human rights in the constitution. We suspended budget support. A second example is Kenya where we suspended all payments to the government following the disputed presidential election in December 2007.

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which civil society organisations received funding under partnership
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programme agreements in 2006-07; what the expertise of each is; and what their specific subject areas are. [217227]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: The following civil society organisations received funding under partnership programme arrangements in 2006-07: ActionAid; Action on Disability in Development; Aga Khan Foundation UK; International HIV/AIDS Alliance; Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD); CARE International UK; Christian Aid; Ethical Trading Initiative; HelpAge International; International Institute for Environment and Development; Islamic Relief Worldwide; International Service; Overseas Development Institute; One World Action; Oxfam; Panos Institute; Plan International UK; Practical Action; Progressio; Save the Children UK; Skillshare International; Transparency International; Voluntary Service Overseas; Water Aid; World Vision; WWF-UK.


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The areas of expertise of these organisations and subject areas of the partnership programme arrangements are detailed on the Department for International Development’s external website at:

Personal Injury

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the highest 10 payments made by his Department in settlement of personal injury claims brought against it were over the last 12 months for which figures are available; which of those cases were (a) contested and (b) uncontested by the Department; and what the nature of the incident was in each case. [216681]

Mr. Malik: The Department for International Development has settled no personal injury claims in the last 12 months.


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