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Chris Huhne: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (1) what steps are taken to test and improve the fire resistance to EU standards of electrical cable that is (a) manufactured in the UK, (b) imported from another EU member state and (c) imported from outside the EU (i) at point of import or manufacture and (ii) at other times before installation of the cable; 
Fire resistance for electric cables is covered by European standards developed under the Construction Products Directive (89/106/EEC). The 1991 UK Construction Products Regulations (SI 1620) implement this directive in the UK, and require that all products used in construction works must satisfy essential requirements (including safety in fire) for their use, where that use is regulated. In turn, the England and Wales Building Regulations (regulation 7) require that products must be fit for purpose in use. The guidance to this functional requirement states that testing and certification to a harmonised EU standard is one way of demonstrating compliance. In addition, the guidance to part B of the Building Regulations (Fire Safety) states that cables showing the appropriate classification against harmonised EU standard (BS EN 50200:2006) can be deemed compliant with the relevant requirements of part B. Scotland and Northern Ireland have similar provisions. These conditions apply equally to products manufactured in the UK or imported from either the EU or elsewhere. These requirements govern the fire resistance of cables in use: there is no mandatory requirement for testing or certification at point of manufacture or marketing.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what progress has been made to date towards meeting the G8 Gleneagles pledge to (a) increase official development assistance (ODA) by $50 billion, (b) increase ODA to Africa by $25 billion and (c) cancel 100 per cent. of heavily indebted poor countries' debt by 2010; what steps are being taken to ensure that the G8 meets these targets by 2010; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: According to the latest available data from the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC), ODA from DAC members increased from $79 billion in 2004 to $104 billion in 2007, and ODA to Africa has increased from $30 billion in 2004 to $39 billion in 2007.
The Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative agreed at Gleneagles in 2005 has delivered an additional $42 billion of debt cancellation to 23 countries including 19 in Africa. Non-DAC donors are also contributing to meeting the targets. The ODA increases by the G8 and other donors towards the 2005 targets are monitored by the DAC, the European Commission and by civil society, and are discussed in intergovernmental bodies including the United Nations, the G8, the European Council, and DAC High Level meetings. The UK Government is continuing to work with others to ensure effective delivery of the commitments made in 2005.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the UK's agreed contribution was towards the G8 Gleneagles pledge to (a) increase official development assistance (ODA) by $50 billion and (b) increase ODA to Africa by $25 billion by 2010 (i) as a percentage of each total and (ii) in monetary terms expressed in (A) US dollars and (B) pounds; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: At Gleneagles, the UK announced a timetable to provide 0.7 per cent. of gross national income (GNI) as official development assistance (ODA) by 2013. The European Union agreed to provide 0.56 per cent. of its GNI as ODA in 2010, with at least half of the increase allocated to sub-Saharan Africa. On the basis of these commitments, and those of other donors, the OECD estimated that total annual ODA would increase by around $50 billion between 2004 and 2010, and annual ODA to Africa would increase by $25 billion.
In the comprehensive spending review settlement announced in October 2007, the Government announced that DFID would spend £7.9 billion in 2010-11, and projected that total UK ODA would reach £9.1 billion (0.56 per cent. of projected GNI), compared to ODA of £4.3 billion in 2004. This projected increase of £4.8 billion is equivalent to US$7.3 billion at today's exchange rates, about 15 per cent of the $50 billion increase expected to result from the Gleneagles commitments. The Government has not announced a projection of total UK ODA to Africa, but has announced that DFID will increase its total multilateral and bilateral aid to Africa from £1.3 billion in 2004 to more than £3 billion in 2010equivalent to $2.6 billion at today's exchange rates, and over 10 per cent. of the $25 billion increase for Africa announced at Gleneagles commitments.
Mr. Michael Foster: Details on DFID's bilateral expenditure and imputed share of multilateral Official Development Assistance (ODA) are contained in the DFID publication Statistics on International Development. This publication is available from in the Library and online at:
|DFID expenditure in Bangladesh, 2003-04 to 2007-08|
Imputed multilateral figures for 2007-08 are not yet available.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what aid his Department is providing to build capacity in Burundi, with particular reference to assistance to the parliamentary authorities in that country. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department for International Development (DFID) is working with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and development partners in Burundi to help build state capacity in the health, education and justice sectors. For example, within the education programme which will provide £6 million over three years, we are strengthening the ministry's capacity for policy making and management of the education system. Technical assistance to the Ministry of Finance and our health and education sector programmes all include components to strengthen the government's public financial management and procurement capacity.
With regard to parliamentary strengthening, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Great Lakes is planning to visit Burundi in February 2009 to provide support to a cross-party group of MPs through an FCO-sponsored workshop, which will also strengthen ties between our two parliaments. DFID is complementing capacity-building support to the Burundian parliament, provided by other donors, through our £6 million over six years Joint Governance Programme with the Swedish International Development Agency. This aims to reinforce other institutions important for transparency and accountabilitythe media, civil society, oversight institutionsby building their capacity to scrutinise government action. This should help create a more conducive environment for parliament to play its role.
Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many journeys (a) he and his predecessors and (b) his officials made by aeroplane in the course of their duties in each of the last five years. 
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much has been spent on (a) maintaining, (b) decorating and (c) otherwise
improving departmental buildings in the last five years; how much has been spent on wallpaper since 2001; and what plans there are for further spending on departmental decoration. 
These sums include all costs associated with planned preventative maintenance, and items such as spare parts, health and safety equipment, subcontracted maintenance contracts and costs associated with the internal reorganisation of the buildings.
In addition to the above, we spent £4,980,789 in 2004-05 and £1,285,379 in 2005-06 on a major refurbishment project of our East Kilbride headquarters, which included major construction and refitting costs.
David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which (a) food and (b) drinks suppliers have been used by his Department in each of the last three years; and how much his Department paid to each such supplier in each of those years. 
Mr. Michael Foster: DFID operates a staff restaurant in each of its two UK offices. In the three last three financial years 2005-06 to 2007-08 these were operated under contract by Yes Dining Ltd. until December 2008 when the contracts were re-tendered and awarded to Charlton House Catering Services Ltd.
These amounts include the subsidy paid for the operation of the restaurants, including staff and other running costs, and costs of refreshments at official meetings and events. It is not possible to separately identify costs of food and drinks, or of the individual suppliers used by the catering contractors.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the likely effects of the global economic situation on the level of foreign direct investment from the United Kingdom to developing countries in 2009; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The main source for data on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows is the annual World Investment Report (WIR) published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development:
WIR 2008 predicted that the global financial crisis would result in FDI flows for the whole of 2008 falling 10 per cent. from the 2007 level, although the report also suggests that FDI flows to developing countries are less likely to be affected.
DFID maintains a substantial investment climate reform programme to help improve the environment for both foreign and domestic investment flows. This includes a three-year £17 million commitment to the Investment Climate Facility for Africa.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the likely effects of global economic conditions on the level of remittances from the United Kingdom to developing countries in 2009; and if he will make a statement. 
Recently the World Bank, in the publication Outlook for Remittance Flows 2008-2010 estimated UK remittances outflows at $5 billion for 2007. World Bank analysis of EU-15, that includes the UK, states that
outward remittances from the EU-15 countries are expected to decline by nearly eight per cent. in 2009, primarily due to a strengthening of the US dollar.
The World Bank's central estimate is that remittance flows to developing countries will fall by 0.9 per cent. this year. However, this could go down further as the impact of the financial crisis deepens, with a worst case scenario according to the Bank of a fall of six per cent.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what information he has on the impact of the Israeli military attack on the Palestinian territories in Gaza in December 2008 on British-supported aid projects in Gaza; what the cost of damage to such projects is; and what representations he has made to the Israeli government on the matter. 
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what funding his Department has given to the UN Development Programme Trust Fund to support the role of the Quartet Middle East Envoy since June 2007; what such funding is planned for 2009; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: In 2007-08, the Department for International Development provided £400,000 to the UN Development Programme Trust Fund to support the office of the Quartet Representative in Jerusalem. We will continue to keep funding requirements for the post under review and will consider support, as necessary.
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