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Julie Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to ensure the provision of high quality healthcare services to tackle tuberculosis in the next five years. 
Mr. Michael Foster:
The Department for International Development (DFID) combats tuberculosis through our contributions to multilateral organisations such as
the World Health Organisation; partnerships like STOP TB and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM); bilateral programmes; and DFID's support for research.
DFID has pledged £1 billion from 2008 to 2015 to GFATM, which estimates that it has supported the detection and treatment of 5.4 million people with TB. In addition, we have a 20-year commitment of up to €60 million per year by 2010 to UNITAID, which by 2011 is aiming to triple access to rapid tests for multi-drug resistant (MDR) TB and reduce the price MDR-TB medicines by 25 per cent. The UK is also investing £6 billion up to 2015 to improve health systems in developing countries, essential to improving the quality, availability and accessibility of health services, particularly by the most poor and vulnerable, including those with TB.
Mr. Bruce George: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 5 March 2010, Official Report, column 1416W, on Rwanda: politics and government, what representations his Department has made to ensure that full political rights, within the framework of Rwandan law, are upheld. 
Mr. Thomas: Officials of the Department for International Development (DFID) are in regular contact with representatives of the Government of Rwanda regarding the registration of opposition political parties. DFID officials also work in close coordination with their Foreign and Commonwealth office (FCO) colleagues on this issue. The British high commissioner in Kigali has recently discussed the registration of political parties with the Rwandan Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Local Government. He has been assured that those parties which meet the criteria laid down in Rwandan law will be able to register.
Mr. Michael Foster:
Since September 2008, the Department for International Development (DFID) has allocated £12.5 million to the humanitarian response in Sri Lanka. Recently, we have funded impartial agencies such as the International Organisation for Migration to support the safe transportation of internally displaced
persons (IDPs) returning from the camps to their areas of origin and United Nations operations to provide transitional shelter.
DFID has a full-time humanitarian adviser based at the British high commission in Colombo. Our adviser remains in regular contact with the Government of Sri Lanka, UN Country Team, International Committee of the Red Cross, NGOs and humanitarian donors in order to bring about an improvement in both the humanitarian situation and international response. For more information on DFlD's humanitarian response please see:
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether the 130,000 teachers to be trained each year under his Department's education strategy will be trained in using inclusive education methodologies. 
Mr. Michael Foster: The Department for International Development's (DFID's) education strategy includes a commitment to produce a toolkit and guidance to support country programmes and partners in delivering inclusive education for children with disabilities. Ensuring teachers are trained effectively is likely to be included as one strategy to help improve the access of children with disabilities to a good quality basic education.
In Vietnam DFID has provided £243 million to the Primary Education for Disadvantaged Children (PEDC) programme, which includes a strong focus on primary education for children with disabilities. This programme includes a range of components including teacher training and professional development, along side the development of learning materials and preparation of a national strategy for Inclusive Education.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Bilateral relations with Angola are good. We are keen to develop a strategic partnership with this important country and work more closely on regional and international issues of mutual interest. We believe that the UK has much to contribute to Angola's economic, social and political development. Our foreign policy priorities include democracy, good governance, human rights and development. The UK has a very strong trade relationship with Angola. Combined visible trade alone was over £600 million last year. British companies have long been major investors in the oil sector, but are increasingly looking for investment partnerships in new areas such as financial services, pharmaceuticals and consumer goods. This is in line with the Angolan Government's wish to diversify the economy.
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Burmese government on the publication of an election law preventing Aung San Suu Kyi from participating in the forthcoming elections in Burma. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: There have been no opportunities for discussions with the Burmese government since the election laws were announced. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister made a statement describing the targeting of Aung San Suu Kyi and her party "vindictive and callous". He also wrote to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon referring to the forthcoming meeting of the Group of Friends to ensure a united and effective international response to the unfair terms imposed by the regime's election laws. At the Human Rights Council on 15 March, at which Burmese Government representatives were present, the Government condemned the election laws. Our Ambassador in Rangoon continues to remind the military regime at every opportunity that without the participation of ethnic groups and the democratic opposition the forthcoming elections will not be credible.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: We are concerned by the recent reports by Medecins Sans Frontieres and Physicians for Human Rights on the situation facing displaced Rohingyas in Bangladesh. We have raised the plight of the Rohingyas and their status with the Government of Bangladesh, both bilaterally and in concert with EU partners. Officials from our High Commission in Dhaka, including the High Commissioner, have visited the camps for displaced Rohingyas, which are run by UN agencies. We are also supporting the European Commission and UN programmes for Rohingyas through the UK's core funding to the EU and the UN.
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received on the forcible relocation of civilians by the Burma regime for the Myitsone dam construction in Kachin State, Burma. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: We are concerned about the impact of the construction of the Myitsone Dam on the environment and the human rights of local people. Officials from our embassy in Rangoon have visited the dam site on several occasions, most recently in January 2010. We understand that local people have been told to leave the area, although have so far refused to do so. Our embassy in Rangoon is supporting work to assess the social and environmental impact of this and other dam projects.
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received of the mortar-bombing of a school in Karen, Burma; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: We are aware of reports detailing State Peace and Development Council attacks on unarmed civilians that took place in February 2010, in which two people were injured and unfortunately one schoolboy was killed. We remain deeply concerned about the situation in Karen State where attacks carried out by the Burmese army and their Karen client organisations on civilians have been particularly intense over the past two years. We have repeatedly called for a halt to such offensives and called on the military regime and the Karen National Union to intensify their efforts to bring about a permanent end to the conflict.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Promotion of human rights is a fundamental part of our relationship with China. Despite economic and social progress, which has raised 500 million out of poverty in just 30 years, progress in civil and political rights has been much slower with a marked deterioration in some areas. It is in our interests to help China do better in these areas through greater respect for human rights, transparency and accountability. Our approach includes high-level messaging to encourage political progress and project work to deliver concrete assistance on the ground.
My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary raised a range of human rights issues including individual cases during his recent visit to China on 15-17 March. He made clear that human rights are our basic values-and a vital part of any stable and sustainable system.
The UK/China Human rights Dialogue provides an open channel of communication with the Chinese Government about human rights concerns and allows issues to be discussed in greater depth. The latest round took place on 18-19 March.
Engaging with China on human rights requires sustained commitment. Therefore we will continue to raise human rights at every available opportunity as made clear in our public strategy for engagement with China, published in January 2009.
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether his Department plans to allocate additional funding for the purpose of tackling violence against women overseas consequent on the creation of the new ministerial role to which Baroness Kinnock has been appointed; whether civil service posts will be dedicated to providing support for that ministerial post; whether the Government plans to bring forward an integrated strategy for tackling violence against women overseas; and whether performance indicators will be used to assess the effectiveness of the Government's work to tackle violence against women overseas. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: On International Women's day, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister announced that my noble Friend Baroness Kinnock will be given responsibility for leading the Government's work to tackle violence against women overseas. This is the first time such a dedicated responsibility has existed within the Government and reflects the growing awareness of the impact of violence against women on societies around the world and its effect on our international policies towards security, the economy and development.
The appointment of Baroness Kinnock will ensure that the existing resources available for work on violence against women in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for International Development and the Ministry of Defence, including staff, are effectively co-ordinated, ensuring a coherent UK approach. Baroness Kinnock will provide a high level voice on this issue, ensuring UK assistance is targeted and that opportunities are seized to share best practice. The Government have undertaken a public consultation with a view to revising the UK's National Action Plan on Women Peace and Security. We will continue to engage with civil society as this is developed. We are considering the inclusion of indicators to measure progress and are also supporting the development of international indicators at the UN level.
Mr. Syms: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Ruislip Northwood of 5 January 2010, Official Report, column 103W, on departmental marketing, how much his Department and agencies have spent on advertising, marketing, public relations and publicity in relation to the (a) Real Help Now and (b) Building Britain's Future themed campaign to date. 
Chris Bryant: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is committed to reducing sickness absence. The average number of days sick leave by UK staff has decreased from 8.9 days in 1997 to 3.5 days in 2009. Per capita sickness absence in the FCO has been consistently below the public sector average.
Data collection since 1997 has been complicated by the introduction of new Pay and management information systems. It is therefore possible that the figures given below do not reflect consistent recording methods.
|Total number of days||Average number of days per officer|
|n/a = Not available|
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