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6 Oct 2008 : Column 96W—continued

Africa: EU Water Initiative

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the Answer of 19 June 2008, Official Report, column 1167W, on Africa: EU Water Initiative, what steps the EU Water Initiative Africa Working Group plans to take to improve coordination between donors, developing country governments and civil society organisations. [223686]

Gillian Merron: Improved co-ordination is a key aim of the EU Water Initiative Africa Working Group. The Group is an integral part of the EU Water Initiative’s Multi-Stakeholder Forum. The composition of the Group also encourages co-ordination, through its rotating membership.

EU member states, the EC and other donors, such as the World Bank and the African Development Bank, participate in Africa Working Group key activities. Meetings are generally programmed as an integral part
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of major events, such as the recent World Water Week in Stockholm. The membership of the Africa Working Group management “Troika” rotates on a yearly basis between EU member states. This arrangement promotes a wide range of active involvement in the Group. For example, the UK co-Chairs the Group this year with the African Ministers Council for Water representative from Congo-Brazzaville and next year Austria will co-Chair with a South African representative. Country governments are involved in the Africa Working Group activities. For example, Ethiopia is a leader in the Group’s country dialogue process which develops a strategic planning and financing framework for the water sector. Civil society, such as the Women for Water Partnership and the African Water Network, participate in regular events such as Africa Working Group meetings and the Multi-Stakeholder Forum.

Co-ordination will also be improved through the new communications strategy which we have funded through our support to the Africa Working Group “Troika”. This strategy takes a comprehensive longer-term look at the Group’s requirement.

Africa: Overseas Aid

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what funding his Department has allocated to the African Community Access Programme in each year since its inception; what percentage of that funding was administrative costs in each year; what private sector contractors are delivering the programme; and what the value of each contract is. [220538]

Mr. Malik: The African Community Access Programme (AFCAP) has a total Department for International Development (DFID) budget of £7.5 million over five years. The Programme Management contract was awarded to Crown Agents through competitive tender with a financial limit of £1.222 million over the first three years. The Programme formally began only in June 2008 and no disbursements have yet been made. The Management’s initial task of identifying transport research projects in six African countries has recently begun; once these have been designed in collaboration with participating governments, invitations to tender for their implementation will be issued, and specific project costs will become available.

Africa: Regional Trade Facilitation Programme

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 19 June 2008, Official Report, column 1172W, on Africa: Regional Trade Facilitation Programme, how much export volumes have risen in total between 2005 and 2007 as a result of the programme. [223688]

Gillian Merron: The Regional Trade Facilitation Programme (RTFP) has been working at promoting trade through harmonisation of regional trade policy and trade facilitation. Through the RTFP there has been an increase of at least 1,278.4 metric tonnes between 2005 and 2007 on tea, coffee and nuts.


6 Oct 2008 : Column 98W

These can be broken down as follows:

Metric Tonnes

Tea

600

Coffee

280

Mixed Nuts (including organic)

398.4


Africa: Rice

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much his Department has allocated to the Africa Rice Centre for its New Rice for Africa project in 2008-09; and what percentage of that expenditure is on administrative costs. [220539]

Mr. Thomas: This year the Department for International Development (DFID) will be making a grant of £500,000 for core funding to the African Rice Centre. It will not be earmarked. Depending upon the allocation of this grant by the centre to its different programmes some of this may be used to support the New Rice for Africa project. The percentage of the centre's overall expenditure of US$ 10,518,272 for 2007 spent on administrative costs was 24.7 per cent.

Africa: Trade

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the Answer of 19 June 2008, Official Report, column 1166W, on Africa: borders, what steps are being taken by his Department to facilitate trade across borders in parts of Africa other than southern Africa in 2008-09. [223687]

Gillian Merron: Outside Southern Africa, the Department for International Development’s (DFID) work to facilitate cross-border trade is focused in East Africa (the East African Community (EAC)—Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi). DFID is preparing a major new regional programme to facilitate trade by EAC member states. It will focus on expanding intra-regional trade through reducing the costs of trading across borders by supporting one stop border posts, customs reforms and the development of revenue sharing arrangements between countries.

DFID has already been helping the Government of Uganda to implement its EAC commitments and has supported the East African Business Council to undertake a study of the EAC Customs Union implementation. This highlights the major reforms necessary to reduce the barriers to trade across East Africa. As a result of this work, a notable success is the 24 hour opening of Mombassa port to allow for more efficient processing of containers.

Climate Change: Natural Disasters

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps he is taking to integrate disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in his Department’s work. [222482]


6 Oct 2008 : Column 99W

Gillian Merron: The Department for International Development’s (DFID) 2006 White Paper stated that disaster risk reduction (DRR) is a crucial part of climate change adaptation. DFID’s climate change implementation strategy incorporates DRR and recognises the need to draw on existing mechanisms to reduce risk when designing new programmes to adapt to climate change. The Bali Action Plan, which the UK signed up to last December, emphasises this when it refers to the importance of using

DFID is developing an integrated DRR and adaptation mainstreaming programme to be rolled out across the Department over the next year. We are also developing joint risk and vulnerability assessments, beginning in five countries in South Asia, to provide staff with the tools and skills needed to assess climate and disaster risk when designing development programmes.

DFID has also commissioned a review to assess how DRR and adaptation programming could be better aligned to identify mechanisms for joint funding and programming; and to make recommendations for addressing remaining gaps in the system. This work is in progress, but initial recommendations include: supporting more visible engagement of the DRR community in climate negotiations; promoting stronger convergence of the DRR and adaptation teams within DFID and multilateral agencies; and supporting the generation of integrated knowledge and guidance, including by documenting success stories of where integration has worked.

Climate Change: Non-governmental Organisations

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to ensure that scientific information on climate change is available for non-governmental organisations to incorporate into their work with vulnerable communities. [222481]

Gillian Merron: The Department for International Development (DFID) is working to ensure that adequate scientific information on climate change is available to all stakeholders working with vulnerable communities, including non-governmental organisations. Work we are currently supporting in this area includes:


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Democratic Republic of Congo: Humanitarian Aid

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recommendations for improving humanitarian response resulted from the field mission to Democratic Republic of Congo co-hosted by his Department; and how many such recommendations have been implemented. [224134]

Gillian Merron: Numerous field missions have come to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in the past year: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) donor Support Group, Pooled Fund Evaluation, Central Emergency Revolving Fund evaluation (CERF), and internal field missions undertaken by the in-country humanitarian team. Recommendations emanating from these missions include:

The Department for International Development (DFID) is at the forefront of humanitarian reform internationally and within DRC. In DRC, this has translated into the establishment of a common Humanitarian Pooled Fund in 2006 ($120 million from eight donors in 2008) to provide the Humanitarian Coordinator with funds to target critical needs; support for the design of the yearly DRC Humanitarian Action Plan that better defines need and strategic priorities and is more measurable; and support for the Cluster Lead Agency coordination system that brings NGOs and UN agencies together to determine priorities and strategy under a common framework. Although work remains to improve the humanitarian response, all above elements, with DFID support, are improving the timeliness, effectiveness and quality of humanitarian assistance provided in the DRC.

Departmental Air Travel

James Duddridge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer to the right hon. Member for Horsham (Mr. Maude) of 14 July 2008, Official Report, column 27W, on carbon emissions: Government Departments, how much air mileage incurred through departmental travel was used to calculate the departmental payment to the Government Carbon Offsetting Fund in each year that his Department has participated in the fund, broken down by (a) domestic, (b) short-haul and (c) long-haul flights. [222114]

Mr. Malik: Since the Government Carbon Offset Fund was established, the Department for International Development's (DFID) air mileage incurred through departmental travel was as follows:

kilometres

2006-07 2007-08

Short haul

5,964,021

6,320,553

Long haul

72,475,244

67,851,587

Domestic

(1)

3,932,618

(1 )Domestic was not separately identified in 2006-07.

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Departmental Appeals

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development on how many occasions his Department has instructed the Treasury Solicitor to seek leave to appeal to the House of Lords from (a) the Court of Appeal and (b) the House of Lords itself in each of the last 10 years; and on how many occasions the application was rejected. [220825]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: Neither the Department for International Development nor the Treasury Solicitor keep central records and we have not been able to identify any cases to which the Secretary of State applied for leave to appeal to the House of Lords and was refused. We cannot, therefore, say whether there were any such cases and, if so, how many.

Departmental Buildings

Mr. Betts: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his Department's policy is on improving the energy efficiency of the buildings which it (a) rents and (b) owns; what changes there have been in the energy efficiency of such buildings in the last (i) five and (ii) 10 years; and whether his Department has adopted targets on energy efficiency improvements in the buildings it occupies over the next (A) five and (B) 10 years. [221093]

Mr. Malik: The Department for International Development (DFID) is fully committed to the targets set out for sustainable operations on the Government estate. These include targets for carbon emissions from buildings and energy efficiency. It is not possible to directly compare their energy efficiency with five or 10 years ago, as we have both moved and expanded our offices over this period, and occupancy levels have increased as we have improved the effectiveness of the use of our estate, including closing our third office.

We are continuing to work towards the Government's long-term sustainable operations 2010 and 2020 targets, and will look to build on measures already taken such as changes to operational arrangements, more energy efficient equipment, and behavioural changes.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which organisations have received (a) free and (b) discounted room hire from (i) his Department and (ii) its agencies in each of the last five years; and what the commercial value of the discount was in each case. [221591]

Mr. Malik: The Department for International Development (DFID) does not provide free or discounted room hire for other organisations. We have no agencies which have property.

James Duddridge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the location is of each office occupied by (a) his Department and (b) each of its agencies which has been ( i ) newly occupied and (ii) refurbished in the last 24 months; and what the floor area in square metres is of each. [222127]


6 Oct 2008 : Column 102W

Mr. Malik: The information requested is as follows:

Square metres
Country office Place Classification Completed Total floor area

DFID Pakistan

Islamabad

New build and refurbishment

May 2006

1,192

DFID Ethiopia

Addis Ababa

New build

September 2006

1,354

DFID Sudan

Khartoum

New build and refurbishment

November 2007

679

DFID Afghanistan

Kabul

New build

August 2006

725

DFID Uganda

Kampala

New build

December 2007

1,340

DFID Nigeria

Kano

Refurbishment

October 2006

153

DFID Nigeria

Abuja

Refurbishment

July 2008

1,532

DFID Indonesia

Jakarta

Refurbishment

July 2008

186.19


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