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Mr. Douglas Alexander: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for Hemsworth (Jon Trickett) on 13 December 2007, Official Report, column 838W. Consultancy spend for the year 2007-08 is £246 million.
Mr. Andrew Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many instances of fraud were recorded in his Department in each of the last five years; what the monetary value of the fraud was in each case; what the nature of the fraud was in each case; and how many of his Departments staff were (a) reprimanded and (b) dismissed as a result in each case. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The Department for International Development (DFID) collates details of recorded fraud and passes the results to HM Treasury for inclusion in their annual fraud report, which may be found on HM Treasurys website at:
Mr. Andrew Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much the (a) design and (b) maintenance of the Race Against Global Poverty section of his Departments website (i) has cost and (ii) is projected to cost. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander [holding answer 13 October 2008]: The total cost of designing the Race Against Global Poverty section of DFIDs website was £83,221.17. Maintenance costs are £10,109.70 per annum for database hosting, usage statistics and bandwidth.
This section of the DFID website is designed to assist pupils in the subjects of ICT, geography and citizenship, as part of the secondary school teaching curriculum. Since it was launched on 30 June 2008 there have been 54,962 user sessions on this section of the website.
Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which organisations provided media monitoring services to (a) his Department, (b) its agencies and (c) its non-departmental public bodies in each of the last three years; and what the total cost was of each contract. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The Departments media monitoring is supplied by Energy Data Service Ltd. (EDS) and the Media Monitoring Unit (MMU). Available figures for the annual costs of each contract are as follows:
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Mr. Michael Foster:
The Department for International Development (DFID) committed up to £7 million for humanitarian relief and early recovery to the Caribbean
after the recent hurricanes, some £6 million of which is for Haiti to help restore water, sanitation and other essential services and supplies. DFID also sent a humanitarian assessment team to Haiti and is supporting UN relief co-ordination there with two seconded experts.
Although DFID has no long-term bilateral development programme or representation in Haiti, DFID will continue to support Haiti through engagement with and funding of multilateral agencies such as the World Bank, United Nations, European Union, regional CARICOM institutions, the Caribbean Development Bank and international NGOs. We judge these actors to be best placed to assist Haitis development because of their long-term presence.
Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what progress has been made by the United Nations relief fund to help those affected by the recent hurricanes in Haiti; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Michael Foster: The United Nations (UN) issued an international appeal for post-hurricane humanitarian relief funding for Haiti totalling $107 million. So far we understand donors have committed $23,540,000, 22 per cent. of the appeal. The Department for International Development (DFID) is channelling £4 million of its £6 million humanitarian aid for Haiti through the UN.
In the very difficult circumstances prevailing in Haiti all agencies are finding it difficult to manage relief. There are challenges of staffing, co-ordination and logistics. We have targeted our support to be as helpful as possible to the UN agencies in overcoming these constraints.
Mr. Michael Foster: Much of the Department for International Development's (DFID) work is in high risk environments. Staff must be safeguarded, financial control maintained and our development activities must reduce poverty. DFID's systems are designed to provide a high and consistent level of management everywhere, including in difficult environments. DFID tackles three types of risks:
Risks to DFID staff and resources;
Risks to the delivery of international development
Risks faced by poor people throughout the world
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make a statement on the outcome of the UN High-Level Event on the millennium development goals on 25 September, with particular reference to the financial contributions pledged by the British Government. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The high level event (HLE) on the MDGs involved the broadest ever alliance assembled to fight for poverty reduction. Participants in the event, and the nearly 60 partnership events during the week, represented over 140 countries and leaders of NGOs, business, faith groups, philanthropic organisations and cities.
At the UN HLE the UK Government committed to spend an estimated £450 million over the next three years to support national health plans for eight international health partnership countries. Prime Minister Gordon Brown also announced the foundation of a multistakeholder Taskforce on Innovative Financing for Health Systems to help meet the financial gap on the health MDGs. With the aim that this Taskforce will report to the Italian G8 summit in 2009.
On education the UK Government committed £50 million for the education fast-track initiative (FTI) as part of a multi stakeholder approach launching the new Class of 2015 partnership which looks to address the funding gap in order to help make it possible to get 24 million children into school by 2010. It is part of delivering on our commitment, announced in April 2006, to provide £8.5 billion in support of education over 10 years. There was also an announcement of a £5 million commitment for a partnership with Comic Relief totalling £10 million (£5 million each) through which school children in the UK will raise money for schools in Africa. As with the FTI funding it's part of our delivering on our £8.5 billion commitment.
The UK announced £40 million to support the affordable medicines facility for malaria, which the UK encourages the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM) to host. This is in support of the global malaria action plan that was developed by Roll Back Malaria, with contributions from 250 partner organisations, and launched with Malaria No More, Roll Back Malaria, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the UN on the 25 September. The action plan points the way towards universal coverage of bed nets and spraying by 2010, and achieving near zero malaria deaths by 2015.
On food security the UK Government committed £42 million to the Horn of Africa as part of the Government's emergency assistance. This was part of the $1.75 billion announced by stakeholders at the UN HLE in emergency food aid to stop starvation in the Horn of Africa, and for the rapid distribution of support, including seeds and fertilizers, to 30 priority countries.
I will be answering questions relating to the UN HLE at the Africa All Parliamentary Group (APPG) on 28 October and at the International Development Committee on the UN high level event on 30 October.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what estimate he has made of the number of Somalian refugees in Yemen; and what steps the UK has taken to facilitate their safety and security. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: Figures from the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) show that as at January 2008, there were 79,000 Somali refugees in Yemen. This figure is projected to rise to 82,720 by the end of 2008.
The Department for International Development (DFID) is not currently providing assistance to UNHCR for the purpose of supporting Somali refugees in Yemen. However, through DFIDs bilateral programme in Yemen, we will be providing £7 million between 2008 and 2013 to support efforts to increase access to justice and policing for all those living in Yemen.
DFID is also working in Somalia, to improve governance, security, health, education, livelihoods and provide emergency humanitarian relief. Our support is aimed at building more stable conditions so that fewer Somalis feel forced to seek a better life elsewhere.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what representations he has made to the Sri Lankan government to ensure free passage of food, medicines and other humanitarian supplies to the North of Sri Lanka; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Michael Foster: The Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for International Development raised the humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka in a bilateral meeting with President Rajapakse on 26 September in New York at the United Nations General Assembly. They stressed the need for a political solution to the Conflict as well as the need to secure humanitarian space and to provide humanitarian relief to an estimated 220,000 Internally Displaced Persons trapped in the conflict zone in the north of Sri Lanka.
Mr. Michael Foster: In addition to diplomatic engagement, the UK Government are providing funding for humanitarian aid. The Department for International Development (DFID) contributed £1.25 million in 2007-08 through the UN and the International Red Cross. Following the latest DFID humanitarian assessment mission to Sri Lanka 15-24 September, which visited the north, DFID has agreed a further £2.5 million humanitarian aid. We are in urgent discussion with the UN and the Red Cross about how to channel this aid as quickly as possible to assist the 200,000-250,000 internally displaced people caught up in the latest upsurge in the conflict.
Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) what the initial findings of his Departments assessment team on the humanitarian situation in northern Sri Lanka are; and if he will make a statement; 
Mr. Michael Foster: The Department for International Developments (DFID) assessment of the humanitarian situation in northern Sri Lanka is that it is severe and in need of urgent relief action. As I reported to the House on 14 October 2008, Official Report , columns 240-48WH, we estimate that the number of Sri Lankans displaced in the latest surge in the conflict between the Sri Lankan armed forces and separatist extremists has risen from approximately 75,000 in July to between 200,000 and 250,000. Because many of these people have suffered multiple previous displacements they are particularly vulnerable. They are trapped between opposing forces in a pocket of north-east Sri Lanka without the assistance they need, lacking food, water, shelter, healthcare or sanitation. It is impossible to gauge exact numbers or their full plight because there is no humanitarian access to them. There are plans by the United Nations and the Sri Lankan authorities to mount relief convoys but so far very little is getting through.
As I said in the House on 14 October 2008, Official Repor t, columns 240-48 WH, we deplore this situation, have called on all parties to the conflict to facilitate access and humanitarian aid and I am pleased to have committed a further £2.5 million for humanitarian relief through the international agencies.
The DFID assessment team comprised one UK-based humanitarian specialist who has previously worked in Sri Lanka and has visited Sri Lanka many times and a representative of the British high commission in Colombo.
The assessment team visited Sri Lanka from 16 to 24 September, including Vavunia and Jaffna District, where they were able to travel without difficulties or restrictions. They were unable to visit the Wanni area because security there could not be assured.
Mr. Michael Foster: The Department for International Development's (DFID) assessment of the humanitarian situation in northern Sri Lanka is that it is severe and in need of urgent relief action. As I reported to the House on 14 October 2008, Official Report, column 240-48WH, we estimate that the number of Sri Lankans displaced in the latest surge in the conflict between the Sri Lankan armed forces and separatist extremists has risen from approximately 75,000 in July to between 200,000 and 250,000. Because many of these people have suffered multiple previous displacements they are particularly vulnerable. They are trapped between opposing forces in a pocket of north-east Sri Lanka without the assistance they need, lacking food, water, shelter, health care or sanitation. It is impossible to gauge exact numbers or their full plight because there is as yet no proper humanitarian access to them. The United Nations and the Sri Lankan authorities are attempting relief convoys but so far relatively little is getting through.
As I said in the House on 14 October, we deplore this situation, have called on all parties to the conflict to facilitate access and humanitarian aid and I am pleased to have committed a further £2.5 million for humanitarian relief through the international agencies.
Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to ensure that humanitarian aid (a) workers and (b) supplies can reach the districts of Kilinochchi and Mulaitivu in northern Sri Lanka. 
Mr. Michael Foster: In addition to diplomatic representations, the Department for International Development (DFID) supports the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which has a permanent international and national staff presence in Kilinochchi and Mullaittivu. As I said in the House on 14 October 2008, Official Report , column 240-48WH, we are pressing for full humanitarian access to those areas.
We are also pressing for Sri Lankan and United Nations relief convoys to deliver aid in safety and will support UN and other aid agency partners to increase their aid operations as soon as possible, assisted by the further £2.5 million from DFID that I was pleased to announce on 14 October.
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