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Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many major road projects have been (a) started and (b) completed in Afghanistan since 2001; how many of the roads concerned remain in operation; and what the geographical starting and finishing points of each project are. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: Since October 2001, the donor community has provided over $3 billion towards the repair and expansion of Afghanistans road network. According to the Asian Development Bank, which is the lead donor in this sector, by the end of 2007, improvement works had either been completed or were ongoing on approximately 3,200 km of regional roads, 1,900 km of national roads and 6,000 km of rural roads across all of Afghanistan.
86 per cent. of the regional road network is scheduled to be operational by the end of 2008 with the remainder to be operational by 2010. As far as we are aware, all of the roads constructed since October 2001 are still in operation.
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The access roads connecting Musa Qala to the other major towns of north and central Helmand of Gereshk, Lashkar Gah, Kajaki and Sangin are unpaved, well-used tracks suitable for heavy vehicles.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 30 October 2008, Official Report, columns 1320-23W, on Africa: education, what the outcome of the teacher census in Sierra Leone was. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The teachers' census that was undertaken in Sierra Leone (August, 2008) revealed that there are 33,164 teachers in Government-owned or Government-assisted primary and secondary schools. This is broadly similar to the total number of teachers on the official payroll. However, further investigations are needed and are underway in order to establish a fully credible and reliable payroll.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the Answer of 30 October 2008, Official Report, columns 1320-23W, on Africa: education, what the requirements for disbursements from (a) the Catalytic Fund and (b) the UNICEF-administered transition fund are. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Education for All (EFA) Fast Track Initiatives (FTI) Catalytic Fund is currently managed under World Bank Trust Fund regulations. The World Bank applies the same fiduciary controls to Catalytic Fund disbursement as it does with any of its other transactions.
Disbursements from the Catalytic Fund to countries securing FTI endorsement are made according to a needs based allocation, agreed by the Catalytic Fund Steering Committee (comprised of the donors contributing to the Catalytic Fund). The funding modality used in disbursing funds is agreed between the World Bank as fund supervising entity and the recipient government, and formalised within a grant agreement.
There is broad international agreement to convert an existing Netherlands-UNICEF bilateral programme into a multilateral Transition Fund managed by UNICEF within the FTI partnership. The requirements for disbursements under this fund are currently being formulated.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the Answer of 30th October 2008, Official Report, columns 1320-3W, on Africa: education, what the best practice criteria on harmonisation and alignment in the (a) Monterrey consensus and (b) Paris Declaration are. 
Recipient and donor countries, as well as international institutions, should strive to make Official Development Assistance (ODA) more effective. In particular, there is a need for the multilateral and bilateral financial and development institutions to intensify efforts to:
Harmonise their operational procedures at the highest standard so as to reduce account national development needs and objectives under the ownership of the recipient country;
Support and enhance recent efforts and initiatives, such as untying aid, including the implementation of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development/Development Assistance Committee recommendation on untying aid to the least developed countries, as agreed by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development in May 2001. Further efforts should be made to address burdensome restrictions;
Enhance the absorptive capacity and financial management of the recipient countries to utilise aid in order to promote the use of the most suitable aid delivery instruments that are responsive to the needs of developing countries and to the need for resource predictability, including budget support mechanisms, where appropriate, and in a fully consultative manner;
Use development frameworks that are owned and driven by developing countries and that embody poverty reduction strategies, including poverty reduction strategy papers, as vehicles for aid delivery, upon request;
Enhance recipient countries' input into and ownership of the design, including procurement, of technical assistance programmes; and increase the effective use of local technical assistance resources;
Promote the use of ODA to leverage additional financing for development, such as foreign investment, trade and domestic resources;
Strengthen triangular cooperation, including countries with economies in transition, and South-South cooperation, as delivery tools for assistance;
Improve ODA targeting to the poor, coordination of aid and measurement of results.
Reliable Country Systems
Aid flows aligned on national priorities
Strengthened capacity by coordinated support
Use of country Public Finance Management systems and procurement systems. Strengthening capacity by avoiding parallel implementation structures
Aid is more predictable and is untied
Use of common arrangements or procedures
Encouraging shared analysis
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the Answer of 30 October 2008, Official Report, columns 1320-23W, on Africa: education, what criteria he uses to assess whether a bilateral or multilateral investment proposal is bankable. 
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the Answer of 30 October 2008, Official Report, columns 1320-23W, on Africa: education, what the compliance requirements of the Education for All Fast Track Initiative are. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The focus of the Education for All (EFA) Fast Track Initiative (FTI) is to accelerate country progress towards the universal primary education goals through additional funding and building local capacity.
The FTI Catalytic Fund provides financial assistance to FTI countries which have (a) an approved national Poverty Reduction Strategy, (b) endorsed education sector plans (through the FTI review process) and (c) have an identified funding gap.
The World Bank currently manages the FTIs two major pooled trust funds, the Education Programme Development Fund and the Catalytic Fund. It applies the same fiduciary controls to fund disbursement as it does with any of its other transactions. Further information about the FTI may be obtained from the FTI website
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the Answer of 30 October 2008, Official Report, columns 1320-23W, on Africa: education, what the imputed UK share of multilateral overseas development aid for the Education for All initiative is. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: It is not possible to track support to the Education for All initiative through multilateral organisations. The total imputed DFID share of multilateral overseas development aid for education was £104 million for the 2006-07 period. This figure does not include an imputed share of General Budget Support provided by multilateral organisations which is subsequently spent on education.
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the Answer of 30 October 2008, Official Report, columns 1320-23W, on Africa: education, which sectors of the Education
for All initiatives are supported on the UKs behalf by (a) the International Development Association, (b) the African Development Fund, (c) the European Commission and (d) the UN Childrens Fund. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: It is not possible to track which sectors of the Education for All initiative are supported through multilateral organisations. The Education for All Goals cover broad areas from early childhood care, free primary education and the particular needs of girls to the learning needs of young people and adults including literacy, numeracy and essential life skills.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the Answer of 30 October 2008, Official Report, columns 1320-23W, on Africa: education, which (a) major donors in education (b) developing countries and (c) civil society organisations are partners in the Education For All Fast Track initiative. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Some 30 bilateral, regional and international agencies and development banks are partners of the Education for All Fast Track Initiative (FTI). The main financial contributors are the Netherlands, the UK, Spain and the European Commission. 36 developing countries have to date had their education plans endorsed by the FTI. Civil Society Organisations are represented on the FTI Steering Committee by the Global Campaign for Education and Data. Full details can be obtained from the FTI website at
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 30 October 2008, Official Report, columns 1320-23W, on Africa: education, what reports his Department and its international partners have produced on the outcome of the project undertaken by the Association for Development of Education in African Books Working Group. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: DFID was the lead agency for the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) Working Group on Books and Learning Materials from July 2004 to February 2008. We provided annual reports to the ADEA secretariat in Paris on the Working Group's activities in support of book development in Sub-Saharan Africa. From March 2008, the Working Group has been lead by the Department of Education in South Africa, with coordination provided by Read Education Trust.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 30 October 2008, Official Report, columns 1320-3W, on Africa: education, what the nature is of the infrastructure grants provided to the government of Kenya; and how much funding the UK has provided to education in Malawi. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The UK Government do not provide infrastructure grants to the government of Kenya. I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given to her on 30 October 2008, Official Report, columns 1320-3W, in which I advised that we provide funding, along with other donors, to the government of Kenya's Education Sector Support Programme. The programme works in 23 investment areas, one of which is the provision of infrastructure grants to primary schools. There are two types of grant:
(i) The Basic school infrastructure grant, which supplements on-going community initiatives rather than replacing a long established tradition of self reliance. Grants have been provided to 4,000 schools out of a total of 18,500. These were selected based on poverty levels in their area, enrolment levels, examination data and the physical condition of permanent and temporary infrastructure. Grants have ranged from Ksh 100,000 (approx £750) to Ksh 400,000 (approx £3,000).
(ii) The Additional school infrastructure grant, which is for schools with the highest enrolments and the very poorest physical infrastructure. Schools are selected after they have a used a basic grant well and after a plan has been developed and approved for an additional grant, which can be around Ksh 1 million (approx £7,500).
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the progress the EU Water Initiative Africa Working Group has made towards meeting the Millennium Development Goal on water and sanitation. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The EU disbursed nearly £1 billion pounds to the water sector in Africa last year. The EU Africa Working Group works with the African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW) to improve the effectiveness of this aid. The Department for International Development (DFID) is this year co-chairing, with AMCOW, the Africa Working Group. This has led to a strengthened engagement with African partners and donors to ensure that future aid provided to Africa more closely matches the needs of those countries to meet the water and sanitation targets. The Africa Working Group has also worked to highlight the need to do more on sanitation, the most off-track of the millennium development goals. This has led to 32 African Ministers committing to give increased priority, including more national funding, to sanitation.
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