|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many and what percentage of Parliamentary Questions tabled for written answer by his Department on a named day in session 2008-09 received a substantive answer on that day. 
Mr. Michael Foster: The number and percentage of named day parliamentary questions tabled for answer by the Department for International Development (DFID) which were answered on the day named are provided in the table.
|Month||Number answered on named day||Percentage answered on named day|
In the response to the Procedure Committee Report on written parliamentary questions, the Government accepted the Committee's recommendation that Departments be required to provide the Procedure Committee with sessional statistics in a standard format on the time taken to respond to written parliamentary questions, accompanied by an explanatory memorandum setting out any factors affecting their performance. This will be taken forward as soon as possible.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 21 October 2009, Official Report, column 497, on Eritrea: overseas aid, what steps his Department is taking to increase the access of non-governmental organisations to assist in the development of Eritrea. 
The UK Government will continue to press Government of Eritrea officials at every available opportunity to allow aid agencies to operate freely and without constraint for the good of the Eritrean people.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his latest assessment is of the food security situation in Eritrea; what steps his Department is taking in this regard; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Thomas: The next three months will be critical for many areas across Eritrea. Poor rainfall, prolonged dry spells and high cereal prices have continued to impact on the food security of large numbers of people across the country. Early crop estimates indicate a decline in cereal production, compared to previously good harvests in 2007 and 2008. Acute malnutrition rates among children under-five continue to rise.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much of his Department's aid budget has been allocated to each recipient country in (a) 2007-08, (b) 2008-09 and (c) 2009-10; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 30 November 2009, Official Report, column 435W, on Gaza: reconstruction, what reasons the Government of Israel has given for preventing the entry into Gaza of building materials for reconstruction funded by his Department; and what his policy is on securing entry for such materials. 
Firstly, Israel has expressed concerns that materials such as steel pipes or cement could be misused or misappropriated by Hamas and other organisations in Gaza to build weapons or defensive structures. We recognise that Israel has legitimate security concerns and that there is a risk some items could have a dual use. However, we believe with robust monitoring it is possible to address these concerns. The United Nations and other agencies have had extensive discussions with the Government of Israel over practical safeguards against diversion or misuse. Moreover, many items required to repair damaged homes and other infrastructure are not dual-use-such as plastic piping and glass. We have not received specific explanations from Israel of why the import of such items has been blocked or delayed.
Secondly, Israeli Ministers have noted that the continuing detention of Gilad Shalit and Hamas's refusal to renounce violence creates a wider political context for restrictions on movement of people and goods into and out of Gaza. The UK Government continue to call for the immediate, unconditional release of Gilad Shalit and for Hamas to renounce violence and recognise Israel's right to exist in peace and security. We do not accept, however, that access for humanitarian aid and aid workers should be linked to such considerations, nor that the import of materials needed to rebuild houses, schools, medical facilities and other critical infrastructure should be contingent on Hamas's actions.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 30 November 2009, Official Report, column 435W, on Gaza: reconstruction, whether his Department is considering alternative proposals to expedite the reconstruction of homes in Gaza; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Michael Foster: With the onset of winter, the reconstruction or repair to houses of an estimated 60,000 families in Gaza has been identified by the United Nations as a humanitarian priority. However, the continuing restrictions imposed by the Government of Israel on access for construction materials (including cement, steel reinforcement bars, and glass) have effectively put these reconstruction efforts on hold. The UK Government continue to lobby the Government of Israel for the unrestricted import of these, and other, materials.
At the same time, the Department for International Development (DFID) will consider favourably any alternative construction proposals which are practical, cost-effective, and meet the needs of the beneficiary population.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 30 November 2009, Official Report, column 436W, on Gaza: utilities, what remedial action his Department has taken to address the contamination of water supplies in Gaza; and what the Government's policy is on the supply of clean water to Gaza. 
Mr. Michael Foster: The Department for International Development (DFID) is supporting a number of projects to increase the supply of clean water in Gaza. DFID is supporting the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) in coordinating the international response on water and sanitation. We are also providing funding to Oxfam and Action Against Hunger to supply drinking water to vulnerable communities and carry out emergency rehabilitation of water infrastructure. Projects funded by DFID have helped improve access to water for over 335,000 people.
Restrictions placed on materials entering Gaza have limited the capacity to treat contaminated water or run desalination plants. We continue to lobby the Israeli Government to allow into Gaza the essential materials required to repair Gaza's water and sanitation infrastructure.
Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many UK private military and security companies have been awarded contracts by his Department to carry out work in (a) Afghanistan, (b) Iraq, (c) Sudan, (d) Israel, (e) Somalia, (f) Pakistan, (g) Colombia, (h) Ethiopia and (i) Eritrea in (i) 2005, (ii) 2006, (iii) 2007, (iv) 2008, (v) 2009 and (vi) future years; and what the monetary value is of each contract. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The Department for International Development (DFID) has not awarded any contracts to UK private military or security companies to carry out work in the listed countries during the periods stated.
Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many third sector agencies operating in (a) Afghanistan and (b) Iraq and receiving government funding are employing private military and security companies. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: None of the NGOs receiving funding through the Department for International Development's (DFID) bilateral programmes in Afghanistan and Iraq employ either private military or security companies.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment has been made of the Sri Lankan government's progress in resettling internally displaced persons in the north of the country; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Michael Foster: The United Nations reported that as of the 10 December 2009 approximately 160,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) have been released from the closed camps in Sri Lanka. Of this number, around 131,000 people have been returned to their districts of origin and 29,000 people are either living with host families or in institutions. This represents progress by the Government of Sri Lanka towards their own target of returning 80 per cent. of the IDP population from the camps to their areas of origin by the end of 2009.
However, we are concerned that the conditions for returning IDPs are often poor and humanitarian access for UN agencies and NGOs to assist this population remains restricted. The UK Government continue to press the Government of Sri Lanka for humanitarian access to all returning IDPs as a priority. I refer the hon. Gentleman to my written ministerial statement to the House on 24 November 2009, Official Report, columns 61-63WS.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what clinical evidence was used to establish the
target emergency response time for (a) Category A patients at eight minutes and (b) Category B patients at 19 minutes; and what research his Department has (i) commissioned and (ii) evaluated on the effectiveness of those response times. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The eight minute response time standard for Category A (immediately life-threatening) calls is based on clinical evidence that shows that within the first 10 minutes of a sudden cardiac arrest, a patient's survival rate improves 10 per cent. for every minute that is saved by getting the defibrillator to the patient (Eisenberg, Horwood and Cummins 1990). Category B offers a fast response for those patients presenting conditions that are serious but not immediately life-threatening.
In 2006, The Department commissioned an evaluation on ambulance response time targets from the University of Sheffield titled 'The costs and benefits of changing ambulance service response time performance standards'.
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) when he was first informed of the high standardised mortality rates at Basildon and Thurrock NHS Foundation Trust; and if he will make a statement; 
Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Health on what date his Department was first informed of the high standardised mortality rates at Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: Hospital Standardised Mortality Rates have been published on the NHS Choices website since April 2009 and are normally updated monthly. However, it can take several months to verify and check the raw data before they can be used reliably and placed on the website.
In addition, the Care Quality Commission alerts individual national health statistics organisations to high specialty mortality ratios and they can then pursue any issue arising with the NHS organisation concerned until it is satisfactorily resolved. The Department does not routinely receive reports of high specialty mortality ratios on open cases at individual trusts.
Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many hospital admissions there were (a) in total and (b) in each (i) primary care trust area of responsibility and (ii) cancer network area of responsibility where a diagnosis of breast cancer was recorded in the Hospital Episodes Statistics Database in each of the last five years. 
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he expects to receive any further recommendations or reports from the Northern Burn Care review relating to the provision of burn care services in Merseyside; and if he will make a statement. 
Ann Keen: On 11 November 2009 NHS North West published a statement concluding that there was no compelling evidence to demonstrate that the new supra regional service would improve upon existing outcomes for patients with the most severe burns. They did, however, agree to re-examine proposals if there was evidence to demonstrate that supra regional centres would provide significantly improved outcomes and sustainable services for the population of Northern England, North Wales and Isle of Man.
In the meantime, the Northern Burn Care Network continues to work with all specialist burn care services across Northern England, North Wales and Isle of Man to improve the quality of services across the whole patient pathway and to meet the National Burn Care Standards.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|