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14 July 2008 : Column 51Wcontinued
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development from what sources the $60 billion committed to fighting HIV and AIDS by the G8 at Heiligendamm in June 2007 will be provided; and what proportion of that sum has been committed by the Government. 
Gillian Merron: At the G8 summit in Heiligendamm in 2007, the G8 committed to scale up their efforts to provide a projected $60 billion over the coming years for disease control and health systems. One of the UK Governments objectives at Toyako was to encourage other donors and developing countries to meet those commitments.
The Toyako 2008 G8 communiqué builds on and takes forward the commitments made at previous G8 meetings and reiterated its commitment to the goal of universal access and to continue efforts to work towards the goal of providing at least a projected US$ 60 billion over five years (by mid 2012) to fight infectious diseases and strengthen health.
In Achieving Universal Accessthe UKs strategy for halting and reversing the spread of HIV in the developing world the Government committed £6 billion to strengthen health systems and services over seven years to 2015, including for HIV-AIDS support. In addition to this recent commitment, the UK Government have made a long-term commitment of £1 billion (2007-15) to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
A copy of the updated strategy Achieving Universal Accessthe UKs 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:
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department takes to advocate particular trade proposals to developing countries; and what factors are taken into account in deciding whether to advocate a particular proposal. 
Mr. Thomas: Development has been at the heart of UKs trade policy for the past 10 years. The Government have promoted trade policies that bring real benefits to developing countries. This continues to be our position in various ongoing global and regional trade talks involving both developed and developing countries.
The Department for International Development (DFID) also aims to provide countries with the tools and knowledge they need to form their own positions in trade negotiations. DFID funds research through the World Bank, UN and think tanks on critical trade and development issues. For example, DFID has supported IDEAS, a Geneva based NGO, to help West African cotton producing countries to better grasp the challenges and opportunities linked to emerging proposals on cotton in the WTO negotiations.
DFID supports a number of initiatives which strengthen developing countries trade policies. For example, the Enhanced Integrated Framework will help developing countries to mainstream trade within their broader policies on growth and development.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) what assessment he has made of the effect of the Lisbon Treaty not coming into effect on the delivery of the EU humanitarian aid programme; 
(2) what assessment he has made of the possible effect of the Lisbon Treaty being abandoned on the delivery of the EU humanitarian aid programme; 
(3) what the reasons were for his statement in his Departments latest departmental report that the success and adoption of the 2007 Lisbon Treaty was necessary to provide a clear legal basis for humanitarian aid. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The EU as a whole is the world's largest provider of humanitarian aid. The EUs mechanisms and structures for humanitarian response give it global capability and capacity to respond to a range of disasters.
The Lisbon treaty (article 214) states that the adoption of the framework of the Unions humanitarian aid operations will be by qualified majority and co-decision. This is not new. The existing framework regulation on humanitarian assistance (regulation 1257/96 of 20 June 1996) was adopted using qualified majority voting, on the basis of development cooperation provisions introduced at Maastricht (currently article 179 of the EC treaty).
The change made by the Lisbon treaty is to provide a specific legal base for such assistance and to make clear that humanitarian aid must conform to principles of impartiality, neutrality and non-discrimination. These principles make clear that the delivery of aid must be guided by need and not by political or ideological considerations. This provision, including the specification of the appropriate legal base, is a positive innovation of the treaty and the Government supports it. These changes will not come in unless and until the Lisbon treaty enters into force.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs set out the Governments position on pursuing the entry into force of the Lisbon treaty following the result of the referendum in the Republic of Ireland in a statement to the House on 16 June 2008. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister also made a statement to the House on the outcome of the discussions at the European Council on 23 June 2008.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department has taken to strengthen relations with France prior to its assuming the EU presidency, as referred to in his Department's most recent departmental report; and what effect those steps have had on the UK's influence over how EU aid is distributed. 
Mr. Thomas: The Department for International Development has been working with other Whitehall departments to strengthen our relationships with France on development. I and my ministerial colleagues have had several meetings with French counterparts, as have my senior officials. The UK-France summit provided evidence of the close working relationship between the UK and France on development, with the communiqué noting shared commitments in a number of areas.
At an EU level, we worked closely with the French Government to agree at the June European Council an agenda for action on the millennium development goals, which demonstrates the EU's leadership in accelerating progress on poverty reduction. The UK will continue to liaise closely with France and other member states on the level of Community assistance to partner countries in discussions in the Council.
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development who appointed the members of the Independent Advisory Committee on Development Impact. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: Members of the Independent Advisory Committee on Development Impact were appointed by the Secretary of State for International Development.
Selection complied with the Commissioner for Public Appointments' code of practice.
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the salary and other remuneration is of the Chairman of the Independent Advisory Committee on Development Impact. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: Work undertaken by the Independent Advisory Committee on Development Impact (IACDI) is paid on an honorarium basis. The chairman receives £250 per day, on a three year contract (up to a maximum of 80 days). The Department for International Development (DFID) will also meet the cost of travel and expenses necessarily incurred in respect of the appointment.
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the cost has been of running the Independent Advisory Committee on Development Impact since its inception. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The cost to date has been approximately £40,000. This has covered: recruitment of International Advisory Committee on Development Impact (IACDI) members; committee members' fees and expenses; and the Evaluation Department Secretariat's direct costs.
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what authority the Independent Advisory Committee on Development Impact has to expose shortcomings in his Department. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The Independent Advisory Committee on Development Impact has been established to strengthen and assure the independence of the evaluation function in the Department for International Development (DFID), and the use of evaluation results to enhance delivery and impact of UK development assistance.
The full terms of reference of the Committee are available on DFID's external website:
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department has taken towards delivering the millennium development goals call to action in 2008. 
The Department for International Development (DFID) leads the Government's involvement in the MDG Call to Action campaign. The campaign aims to encourage action by a wide range of stakeholders,
including governments, the private sector, NGOs, faith groups and other parts of civil society to accelerate progress on the MDGs and help make 2008 a turning point in the fight against poverty.
We have worked with other Government Departments to ensure that summits of the EU, and G8 discuss MDG issues. We are also actively supporting preparation by the UN of their High Level Event on 25 September, which will be attended by governments and other key stakeholders. We hope that this meeting will be a focal point for adding further momentum to efforts to achieve the MDGs.
In May this year the UK Government co-hosted an event in London along with the United Development Programme (UNDP) on the Business Call to Action (BCTA). At the meeting more than a dozen global companies announced new initiatives which use their unique business skills to solve problems on the ground and to transform people's lives. Since then DFID has been working with the World Economic Forum, UNDP and the International Business Leaders Forum as part of the preparations for a UN-hosted Private Sector Meeting in September.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which members of his Department plan to attend the high-level meeting on the millennium development goals in New York in September 2008; and what the projected travel and accommodation costs are. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: We have yet to decide on the numbers, and therefore the costs, of the UK delegation. I intend to attend.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which countries have agreed to support the Call to Action initiative as a result of UK intervention; and whether his Department continues to seek the support of more countries. 
Mr. Thomas: To date 45 countries have signed up to the Call to Action initiative. In order to help efforts to get the MDGs back on track, the UK Government have actively encouraged countries to sign up to the Call to Action and attend the UN High Level Event in September. UK Government representatives have sought to raise the Call to Action with bilateral partners in a range of meetings over the past year, helping increase the numbers of signatory countries.
The Department for International Development, as part of a concerted effort with other UK Government Departments and other stakeholders, continues to seek the support of more countries for the Call to Action.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what provision the International Health Partnership makes for (a) co-ordination among aid donors and (b) a development focus on health systems; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander:
At the global level, the International Health Partnership (IHP) provides a framework for the eight major international health agencies, the H8, to co-ordinate and accelerate their efforts to meet the health-related MDGs. In addition, at
country level, IHP country teams bring aid donors together with governments to develop country compacts. These compacts commit development partners to co-ordinate their support around a government-led health plan that includes a national strategy for health systems strengthening.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what criteria were used to select the eight countries where the International Health Partnership has been implemented; and what plans there are to extend it to further countries. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The first eight countries to join the International Health Partnership (IHP) were selected on a number of criteria including:
good leadership in the health sector;
several donors active in the health sector; and
a good prognosis for delivering.
All eight countries indicated their interest in further developing and testing the IHP in its early stages.
The IHP is not exclusive. Madagascar and Nigeria have joined the IHP since the launch. Any country interested in joining the IHP can approach the WHO and World Bank directly, once they have discussed IHP membership with their partners in-country.
Mr. MacDougall: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make a statement on the humanitarian situation of Tamils in Sri Lanka. 
Mr. Malik: The humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka is remains very serious. As a result of violence, long-term conflict and the 2006 tsunami, there are over 800,000 internally displaced persons. The continuous closure of the main A9 highway linking the Jaffna peninsula with the mainland has made land access impossible for the mainly Tamil speaking residents, severely compromised the local economy and led to the increase in the prices of essential items. Internally displaced people from the Jaffna district as well as parts of north-eastern Sri Lanka remain unable to return to their homes due to the demarcation of large areas as High Security Zones.
The UK, EU and the wider international community have repeatedly pressed the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE to guarantee free access for relief agencies to deliver humanitarian aid to all Sri Lankans affected by the fighting. In September 2007, the Department for International Development (DFID) contributed £1 million to the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross to help provide protection and humanitarian assistance to people affected by the violence. DFID has already contributed a further £250,000 to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) 2008 Appeal. DFID continues to closely monitor the humanitarian situation, including by sending regular monitoring missions to Sri Lanka, the last being in November 2007.
Colin Burgon: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what funding his Department provided to Transparency International in (a) 2005, (b) 2006 and (c) 2007; and how much of such funding was allocated to projects in Venezuela. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The Department for International Development has provided the following funding to Transparency International:
All of this was unrestricted funding provided to the Berlin-based Transparency International Secretariat. None was ear-marked for Venezuela.
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