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12 Nov 2008 : Column 1237Wcontinued
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of his Departments expenditure on elementary education in India in increasing access to such education. 
Mr. Michael Foster: The Department for International Development (DFID) jointly assesses the effectiveness of its expenditure on elementary education in India on a six-monthly basis with its partners, the Government of India, the Governments of the countrys 35 states and union territories, the World Bank and the European Commission. The findings of these joint reviews are in the public domain and available on the Government of Indias SSA website at:
Progress has been largely positive. Highlights include a reduction of out-of-school children aged between 6 and 14 years in India from 25 million in 2003-04 to 4.5 million in 2007-08; the construction of over 250,000 new elementary over the last six years; the distribution of 160 million free textbooks annually; and special programmes to get girls and the most disadvantaged children into school. DFIDs current support to SSA has a strong focus on improving the quality of education, where substantial progress is required.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of his Department's expenditure on reproductive and child health in India. 
Mr. Michael Foster: The Department for International Development (DFID) jointly assesses the effectiveness of its expenditure towards the Government of India's Reproductive and Child Health II Programme (2005-2011) on a six-monthly basis with its partners, the Government of India, selected state governments, the World Bank and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The findings of these reviews are in the public domain and are available from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare:
Provisional data from the 2008 district level household survey show improvement in some critical indicators of maternal and child health, in particular a sharp rise since 2005 in child immunisation rates and the proportion of births taking place in health facilities, as well as a steady increase in the percentage of children breastfed within one hour of birth. However, overall India remains off track to meet the millennium development goals for maternal mortality and child mortality.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the results of the £25 million joint venture between his Department and the Indonesian Government. 
Mr. Michael Foster:
The Multi-Stakeholder Forestry programme (MFP) in Indonesia ran from 2000 to 2007. The aim of the programme was to improve the rights of local communities to forest resources and reduce illegal logging. Independent evaluations of the project's impact
on illegal logging, poverty, community forestry and conflict were conducted and published in 2006. A final project completion report published in 2007 gave the project the highest achievable rating. Further information can be obtained on the DFID website:
The project resulted in Government better realising their obligations to forest communities, including the passing of 70 local-government decrees on community-based forest management in project areas. In the 300 project sites, covering 2.25 million hectares of forest, local people now have more economic opportunities and higher-value markets for their products. In Sulawesi, MFP support for a forest certification scheme means communities now get 11 times more for their timber than previously. Research by the projects civil-society partners brought about a presidential decree on illegal logging.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what progress has been made on the millennium development goal (a) to halve the number of people living in extreme poverty and hunger, (b) to ensure all children receive primary education, (c) on gender equality, (d) on infant mortality, (e) on maternal health, (f) to combat HIV and AIDS, malaria and other diseases, (g) to improve environmental sustainability and (h) to build a global partnership for development. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The official assessment of progress towards the millennium development goals (MDGs) is made by United Nations (UN) each year. The latest assessment can be found in the UNs annual report The Millennium Development Goals Report 2008, published in September 2008. This report is available at:
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what funding his Department is providing to the Jordan Family Protection Project in 2008-09. 
Mr. Michael Foster: The Department for International Development (DFID) provided £2 million to the Jordan Family Protection Project between 2000-05. DFID closed its programme in Jordan in 2005, in line with its aim to increasingly focus on the poorest countries, and therefore will not be funding the project in 2008-09. The British embassy in Amman is funding a training course for the Family Protection Project in 2008-09 with a budget of £6,500.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what support his Department is providing to entrepreneurs in Lesotho in 2008-09. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Through the Lesotho Priority Support Programme, the Department for International Development (DFID) is supporting a variety of Government and private sector institutions to deliver services and products to entrepreneurs in Lesotho. These include:
1. A One Stop Shop facilityreducing paperwork for entrepreneurs to license their businesses as well as reducing time in issuing import permits (down from four days to 1.5 days) and export permits (down from two/three days to five hours);
2. Developing and disseminating, in Lesotho and abroad, 6,500 copies of the Doing Business in Lesotho guide. This provides comprehensive information for domestic and foreign entrepreneurs on establishing a business;
3. Carrying out a needs assessment of 610 small businesses in Lesotho to help develop more relevant and tailored support from Government and donors;
4. Providing support and training to the Basotho Enterprise Development Corporation (BEDCO) on their Small and Medium Enterprise White Paper. BEDCO now has a strategic plan and is improving the effectiveness of business incubators it manages;
5. Providing further support to BEDCO to collate and disseminate a catalogue of business development service providers for small businesses; and
6. Developing and disseminating 5,000 copies of an HIV and Aids Guide, 16,000 pamphlets and 5,000 posters to support workplace HIV and Aids programmes.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department has taken to develop roads, agriculture and community forestry for poor excluded people in Nepal. 
Mr. Michael Foster: The Department for International Development (DFID) has spent just over £75 million on roads, agriculture and community forestry in Nepal since 2000. All these programmes were targeted at poor and excluded groups.
Over 1,060 kilometres of rural roads have been built by poor local people, with wages paid for by DFID. Our support to Helvetas has built 163 new footbridges bringing 371,000 people closer to markets, schools and health clinics. DFID has spent £47 million on these investments since 2002.
DFID's Agriculture Perspective Plan Support Programme has supported poor and excluded groups in some of the most remote districts to improve farm production and the marketing of farm products. The programme has improved the incomes of over 500,000 people, lifting 87,500 people out of poverty since 2002 at a cost of £147 per person.
The Livelihoods and Forestry Programme (LFP) has been credited as an international example of good practice in community forestry supporting community forest user groups that have reached 460,000 Nepalese households, or 10 per cent. of the total population. In 2007-08, LFP user groups generated £730,000 (Rs 90 million) from the sale of their own forest products to pay for improved local services and created 1.67 million person days of local employment managing community forestsequivalent to about 5,500 full-time jobs. More significantly the community forestry model developed with DFID support has spread across the country. 40 per cent. of households are involved nationally and
many disadvantaged groups have been empowered by their involvement (see LFP case study) creating over six million days of employment for poor people per year.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much funding his Department has provided to (a) health and (b) education programmes in Nepal in each of the last 10 years. 
Mr. Michael Foster: The Department for International Development has provided £23,822,790 to education in the last 10 years; and £65, 157, 422 in health over the same period. The combined spend on health and education in the last 10 years is £88,980,212.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what reports he has received of the outcome of the 2007 talks between the Janajati Federation and the Nepal Government on increasing the political representation of excluded people in Nepal. 
Mr. Michael Foster: Talks between the Government of Nepal and the Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN) resulted in a 20-point agreement reached on 7 August 2007. The Indigenous Nationalities Joint Struggle Committee, which was backing the Janajati (indigenous communities), also signed the agreement.
The agreement required political parties to ensure proportional inclusion of all castes and Janajatis while nominating candidates for the election to the Constituent Assembly (CA). Other important provisions of the agreement include: creation of a state restructuring commission, official recognition for local languages other than Nepali, and the ratification of International Labour Organisation (ILO) convention no. 169.
The agreement plus changes in the electoral law led to a reservation of some CA seats for Janajatis. As a result, Janajatis account for 35 per cent. of the total membership (601 seats), which also corresponds to their share in the population. This is an improvement over the representation of Janajatis in the previous Parliament elected in 1999, which included 25 per cent. Janajati MPs.
The ILO convention no. 169 has been ratified in the meantime but the Government have yet to form the agreed state restructuring commission.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of progress made in Nigeria in (a) improving the management of oil revenues, (b) strengthening systems of formal accountability and (c) increasing non- oil-related economic growth since 2002. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The information is as follows.
(a) Nigeria has made good progress in improving the management of its oil revenues since the restoration of civilian rule in 1999. In 2004 the Government introduced an oil price based fiscal rule (OPBFR) which was given legal force within the federal-level Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA) of 2007. The FRA provides a framework for
fiscal management and institutionalises reforms intended to enhance fiscal transparency, accountability and medium-term fiscal sustainability. All oil revenue above a predetermined threshold has been held in a special excess crude account (ECA). Application of the OPBFR rule has led to considerable budget surpluses and quick accumulation of foreign currency reserves, which currently amount to over US$60 billion, covering more than 30 months of imports. Debt management has also improved greatly. In 2006, Nigeria used US$18 billion of its oil savings to settle its Paris Club debt obligations, leading to a public debt to GDP ratio of 12.5 per cent. of GDP in 2007. This is lower than the 34 per cent. median for countries with the same sovereign credit risk rating of BB-. External debt is now only 16 per cent. of total stock, most of this being multilateral debt contracted on concessional terms.
Oil accounts for over 90 per cent. of total government revenues. Since 1999, approximately half of all revenues go to the federal Government and the rest to state and local governments. Under Nigeria's constitution, states have considerable autonomy. A major challenge to further improving fiscal policy in Nigeria is incentivising states to adopt sound public financial management policies, despite pressure to spend the increased revenues from higher oil prices, and building states capacity to implement the necessary reforms.
(b) In addition to the aforementioned reforms, Nigeria has also taken significant steps to strengthen its systems of accountability. It is now a global leader in the extractive industries transparency initiative (EITI), which aims to generate greater transparency in the flow of revenues from extractive industries. The Nigerian EITI (NEITI) successfully completed a full physical, process and financial audit of the oil and gas sector for the period 1999 to 2004. The 2005 audit is almost complete. In 2007, Nigeria became the first country to enact the EITI into legalisation. Further work is needed to institutionalise NEITI, and enforce the NEITI Act. Nigeria is also taking steps to improve the transparency and efficiency of its budget process, including the development of medium term sector strategies within a medium term economic framework. Progress on institutionalising budget reforms has been slow due to resistance from political interests, poor co-ordination, and weak capacity. Public procurement legislation was recently introduced, which aims to improve the transparency and effectiveness of public expenditure. Implementation and enforcement of this legislation could be impeded by weak capacity in ministries.
(c) Non-oil growth to generate employment and raise incomes is a priority of the Nigerian Government. The non-oil sector provides the majority of livelihoods, mostly in agriculture, and is currently contributing strongly to overall growth. The IMF estimates that non-oil growth in 2007 was 9.6 per cent., compared to annual averages of 7.8 per cent. across all sectors for 2004 to 2007, and just 2 per cent. between 1980 and 2002. Agriculture, construction, telecommunications, transportation, retail and wholesale have all grown strongly. However, despite the strong response of the non-oil sector to reforms to date, major challenges remain. Nigeria is ranked 118 out of 181 countries in the World Bank Doing Business 2009 survey, and Nigeria's huge infrastructure gap must be addressed if the economy is to fully realise its growth potential. Non-oil exports
grew by 30 per cent. in 2007 but still represent just 2 per cent. of total exports and consist mainly of primary agricultural commodities. The recent strong performance of the telecommunication and financial sectors demonstrate their growth potential once regulatory frameworks are established and macroeconomic conditions are favourable.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how the United Kingdom has met its commitments to deliver the millennium development Goals (MDGs); and if he will place in the Library a copy of the addresses he made during the special United Nations General Assembly session on the MDGs in September 2008. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The UK is fully committed to meeting the millennium development goals (MDGs) and is on track to meet the UN target of spending 0.7 per cent. of gross national income (GNI) on official development assistance (ODA) by 2015.
Important progress has been made towards the MDGs, but there is still a long way to go. At the half-way mark to 2015, the UN High Level Event (HLE) last month in New York provided an opportunity to strengthen the commitment of the international community, including the private sector and foundations, to the MDGs. The UN Secretary General (UN SG) announced commitments of $16 billion at the closing plenary of the event. Of these commitments, the UK estimates that at least $11.5 billion represents new commitments (for education, malaria, health and food security) but we are waiting for the UN to confirm these figures with member states and other stakeholders.
Further information on how the UK has met its MDG commitments is available online:
Going forward we must ensure the commitments made at the UN HLE are delivered. The next major international meeting will be in Doha where the international community will come together to review progress on financing for development.
I did not address the UN General Assembly on the MDGs in September. The Prime Minister did however and his speech can be found on the No. 10 website:
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what financial support his Department has provided to (a) the United Nations Childrens Fund, (b) the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and (c) the United Nations Development Fund for Women in 2008-09. 
Mr. Thomas: The Department for International Developments (DFID) planned core contributions to the United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) in 2008-09 are detailed as follows.
|DFIDs planned core contributions to UNICEF, UNHCR and UNIFEM in 2008-09|
|Organisation||2008-09 (£ million)|
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