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16 July 2008 : Column 511Wcontinued
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which countries in Africa are receiving World Food Programme support. 
Gillian Merron: According to the World Food Programme (WFP) the agency currently has operations in the following countries in Africa:
Central African Republic
Democratic Rep of Congo
Sao Tome and Principe
Further information on the work of WFP and the countries in which it operates is available on their website:
John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what estimates his Department has made of changes in food aid costs to (a) Ethiopia, (b) Gambia, (c) Afghanistan and (d) Zambia in the next five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: Over the next five years, changes in food aid costs will be driven by rises in prices of food and fuel, and by increases in the number of people receiving food aid. The World Food programme (WFP) and other agencies estimate that about 100 million additional people may have been rendered food insecure globally as a result of recent price rises. This year, WFPs revised estimate of its total global requirement is approximately £2.4 billion. This represents a 54 per cent. increase compared to the original 2008 requirement. WFP notes that its 2008 requirement may increase further still.
At country level, changing food aid costs have raised requirements for 2008 from the start of the year as follows:
In Ethiopia: an increase from approximately £119 million to £177 million;
In Gambia: an increase from approximately £1.2 million to £1.7 million;
In Afghanistan: an increase from approximately £66 million to £131 million;
In Zambia: an increase from approximately £7 million to £9.7 million;
Realistic predictions of food aid costs beyond one year are not considered to be possible, as a combination of international, regional and national influences can result in high price volatility.
On 22 April the Secretary of State announced a £455 million aid package to address rising global food prices. The package is designed to address both short term needs and long term solutions. It includes some $60 million (over £30 million) in support of recent appeals by the UN World Food programme for countries most at risk.
John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment his Department has made of the effect of recent energy and fuel price rises on levels of spending required between 2008 and 2015 to reach the water and sanitation Millennium Development Goals in (a) Ethiopia, (b) Somalia, (c) Eritrea and (d) Gambia; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The link between energy and fuel price rises on the one hand, and the levels of spending required between 2008 and 2015 to reach the water and sanitation millennium development goals on the other, is complex.
Nevertheless, it is clear that fuel prices will increase the costs of MDG delivery and may reduce the availability of Government resources to meet these costs.
DFID monitors the progress of countries towards achievement of the MDGs. However we do not have data on Gambia and Somalia. Ethiopia and Eritrea are both off track to achieving the MDGs on sanitation, Eritrea is considered to be on track for the Water MDG, but, Ethiopia is off track.
DFID is providing support for the achievement of water and sanitation MDGs, including some programmes in the countries listed. In Ethiopia, first transfer of our £75 million investment to support the Government's Universal Access program has been made. This will support investments in rural and urban water supply and sanitation. In Eritrea, we have recently agreed a £6 million rural water and sanitation project with UNICEF. In 2006-07 DFID spent £8 million on humanitarian activities in Somalia, a proportion of which went towards projects with water components.
John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what estimate his Department has made of (a) the percentage of infants with low birth weight, (b) the proportion of the population with access to clean drinking water, (c) primary school attendance levels and (d) adult literacy rates in (i) Ethiopia, (ii) Malawi, (iii) Afghanistan and (iv) Congo in each of the last 10 years. 
Gillian Merron: Indicators on low birth weight, access to improved water, net enrolment and adult literacy are used to track progress towards the millennium development goals. The data are published by the UN and World Bank. Data are not available for all years and every country. Available data for the selected indicators are shown in the following table and are shown on the UN Statistics Division website:
Improved water source (percentage of population with access)
Literacy rate, adult total (percentage of people ages 15 and above)
| Data not available|
UN Statistics Division and World Bank.
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