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Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much fish was procured by his Department and at what cost in each of the last five years, broken down by species; and what amount and value of such fish met the Marine Stewardship Council standard in each such year, broken down by species. 
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assistance his Department has provided to Georgia in each of the last
three years; what assistance has been provided to Georgia to alleviate the humanitarian situation following its recent conflict with Russia; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The UK Government Georgia bilateral programme expenditure over the last three years was: £2.4 million in 2005-06; £3.8 million in 2006-07; and £2.4 million in 2007-08. The programme allocation for 2008-09 is £3 million. Programme activities are focused on health, regional development, good governance and supporting the Government's European Union integration plans. Georgia also receives Department for International Development (DFID) support via the tri-departmental (FCO, MOD and DFID) Conflict Prevention Pool (CPP) for Russia and the former states of the Soviet Union. The total CPP allocation for 2008-09 is £4.4 million.
In response to the recent conflict, DFID has committed £2 million to humanitarian agencies providing assistance to affected civilians in Georgia and the Russian Federation (RF). Of this, £1 million was allocated to the International Committee of the Red Cross for their operations in Georgia and North Ossetia in the RF. £550,000 has been allocated to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Our support to UNHCR aims to ensure protection needs among internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Georgia are met. Further allocations have been made to the United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA£250,000) and to the Hazardous Areas Life-Support Organisation (HALO£200,000). Our support to OCHA will help to improve co-ordination of activities among the humanitarian community. Our assistance to HALO will help facilitate the safe return of IDPs through the removal of unexploded ordnance from towns and rural communities affected by conflict.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what programmes his Department is taking part in through the Global Science and Innovation Forum (GSIF); what research his Department has undertaken for GSIF initiatives; and what percentage of his Department's budget for 2008-09 is allocated to GSIF projects. 
Mr. Thomas: The Global Science and Innovation Forum (GSIF), chaired by the UK Government chief scientific adviser, is a vehicle for cross-government exchanges of information and ideas to improve coordination of the UK effort in international science and innovation. As such it does not run any programmes or projects. The Department for International Development is represented at GSIF by our chief scientific adviser.
Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) what funding his Department has made available to (a) the UN and (b) the EU to assist Iran in dealing with Afghani refugees; 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The Department for International Development (DFID) does not provide bilateral development assistance to Iran. Support to Afghan refugees in Iran is channelled through multilateral organisations, namely the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the European Commission (EC). This approach allows for greater co-ordination of donor funding. The regional mandate of these organisations means they are best placed to prioritise, monitor and evaluate donor support not just to refugees in Iran, but also those in Pakistan and India.
UNHCR is currently prioritising five protracted refugee situations around the globe, including Afghan refugees in Iran. In 2007, DFID gave £38 million in core funding to UNHCR of which approximately £3 million will go towards the protection and support of Afghan refugees in the region. The 2008-09 contribution is yet to be finalised.
Contributions to the EC development budget are disbursed at a national rather than departmental level. EC assistance to Afghan refugees for 2008 totals £20 million, of which the UK contributes 12.5 per cent. (£2.5 million). This helps provide health, education and shelter to refugees across the region, including in Iran.
John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment his Department has made of the factors contributing to a reduction in malarial mortality and morbidity in Kenya; and if he will make a statement. 
Gillian Merron: Tackling malaria is a priority for both the Government of Kenya and its development partners. There is evidence that the scaling-up of new and more effective malaria control interventions in Kenya is having a positive impact on health. Factors contributing to reduction in mortality and morbidity include:
Implementation of the more effective Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy (ACT) as first-line treatment for malaria;
Better epidemic preparedness and response in epidemic prone areas e.g. a total of 860,000 households were protected through indoor residual spraying in 2007;
Increased awareness and personal protection by the most vulnerable groups through use of bednets. A total of 13.5 million insecticide-treated bednets were distributed between 2002-06, targeted at pregnant women and children under five years old; and
More health workers recruited to provide basic health care, including an additional 450 health workers for management of malaria.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many working days have been lost due to industrial action by employees for which his Department is responsible in each year since 1997. 
|Days lost to industrial action|
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what international lesson-learning networks on health and education in fragile states have been established with his Departments support; and how much funding he is providing for such networks in 2008-09. 
Gillian Merron: The Department for International Development (DFID) has played a pivotal role in setting up the Health and Fragile States Network which is hosted by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM); and the Education and Fragility Network which is part of the Inter-Agency Network on Education in Emergencies and is hosted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
In 2008-09, DFID has provided £60,000 directly to the Health and Fragile States Network and £100,000 to the Inter-Agency Network on Education in Emergencies for a broad set of activities, a proportion of which will fund the Education and Fragility Network.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his Departments objectives are for the outcome of the September Millennium Development Goals meeting in New York. 
Mr. Thomas: The Department for International Development is focusing on three overall objectives, on which we are working closely with partners, for the UN High Level Event in September in order to help accelerate action on the Millennium Development Goals. These are:
To build a common vision about what needs to be donescaling up successes and identifying and addressing gaps in current work;
To harness efforts and mobilise not just governments but business, faith groups, NGOs, cities and professional groups and foundations to deliver the MDGs;
To identify milestones to both measure international progress towards the MDGs and inspire greater action to achieve them.
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the objectives are of the programme being jointly funded by his Department, the UK Natural Environment Research Council and the UK Economic and Social Research Council on ecosystem services and poverty alleviation (ESPA); how much his Department will contribute to this programme in 2008-09; what percentage of this
expenditure will be administration costs; and which developing countries have used the results of the ESPA research. 
Mr. Thomas: The Department for International Development (DFID), the UK Natural Environment Research Council and the UK Economic and Social Research Council are funding the scoping and design of the Ecosystem Services and Poverty Alleviation programme (ESPA). The objectives of the programme are to develop and change local, national and regional policies in developing countries affecting ecosystem management in line with recommendations from research.
DFID plans to contribute £500,000 this financial year towards this programme. Administrative costs will be determined by detailed design; it is estimated they will be 2-3 per cent. of the programme spend. The overall programme should be put to Ministers for their approval toward the end of 2008-09. Developing countries will be able to make use of the ESPA research once the programme is in operation.
Mr. Tom Clarke: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much funding provided to countries in Sub-Saharan Africa to help combat climate change was in the form of (a) loans and (b) aid in each of the last three years. 
Mr. Thomas: The UK Government is stepping up its assistance to tackle climate change, helping countries adapt and build resilience to its impacts. In 2007-8 the Department for International Development (DFID) provided, for example, £4.5 million to support research and capacity development in Africa for climate change adaptation and approximately £0.75 million to develop other programmes that directly help Africa to tackle climate change. Comprehensive information is not readily available for earlier years. Many other DFID investments will have an impact on Africa's ability to adapt to climate changefor example in improving food production and security and strengthening river basin management.
DFID also provides assistance through multi-lateral institutions and global funds to tackle climate change in developing countries, including in Africa. This includes United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change funds, and the Global Environmental Facility. In addition, the new UK £800 million International Environmental Transformation Fund will help developing countries, including those in Africa, to respond to climate change. Part of the assistance provided by these institutions and funds will be in the form of loans.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what programmes his Department is taking part in through the UK Collaborative on Development Sciences (UK-CDS); and what percentage of his Departments budget is allocated to UK-CDS programmes in 2008-09. 
Mr. Thomas: The Department for International Development (DFID) does not take part in programmes with the UK Collaborative on Development Science (UK-CDS). DFID has contributed £297,000, 27.5 per cent. of the UK-CDS total budget, towards the cost of its secretariat and activities over the three years from November 2007.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what topics are on the agenda for the United Nations Millennium Development Goals summit on 25 September; who will represent the Government at the summit; what goals the Government has set for this summit; by what criteria the outcomes of the summit will be judged by the Government; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The UN Secretary General will issue a paper shortly for the UN High Level Event on the millennium development goals (MDGs). The overall aim of the meeting is to help galvanise international activity to get the MDGs back on track. The event will include round tables on Poverty and Hunger; Education and Health; and Environmental Sustainability along with a wide range of partnership events on key issues related to the MDGs.
The Prime Minister plans to lead UK representation at the UN High Level Event, supported by myself and the Under-Secretary of State for International Development, my hon. Friend the Member for Harrow, West (Mr. Thomas).
The UK Government would like to see an action-oriented plan emerging from the High Level Event, with specific deliverables, particularly on education, malaria, health systems and food security. As part of this the UK Government would also like to see the pledging of new financial commitments, including from new donors.
We will judge the outcomes of the UN High Level Event based on the UN Secretary General's letter of 17 July in which he stated the main objectives as reviewing progress and taking stock of the existing gaps at mid-point in the global effort to achieve the MDGs by 2015; help identify concrete actions needed to scale up effort; and help ensure the MDGs and international targets remain on track and momentum is maintained beyond 2008.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what support his Department has provided to the Mediation Support Unit in the UN in the last 12 months; and at what cost. 
Gillian Merron: The UK Government have committed £620,000 over two years to the UN Mediation Support Unit from the Conflict Prevention Pool (CPP), of which £155,000 has been disbursed in the last 12 months. The CPP is funded and managed jointly by the Department for International Development (DFID), the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Ministry of Defence (MOD).
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what volunteer programmes his Department operates to recruit 18 to 25-year-olds to go overseas; how much was spent on such programmes in 2007-08; how many volunteers were recruited in that year; which countries they served in; and what activities each programme involved. 
Mr. Malik: The Department for International Development (DFID) volunteering programme specifically aimed at young adults aged 18 to 25, Platform2 was launched in February 2008. The costs incurred to the end of the financial year were £205,152.
The first group of volunteers departed in May 2008. Over the course of the next three years the programme aims to send 2,500 young volunteers overseas. The first countries to receive volunteers are Ghana, South Africa, India and Peru but the scheme will broaden out to include more countries over its duration. Volunteers will be involved in community projects to improve the livelihoods of people in the host communities.
The budget allocated to the programme is £10 million over three years. The scheme will also support efforts by the young volunteers to raise awareness of global poverty issues upon their return to the UK.
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