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Whether the improvement of performance against the Department for International Development's targets to reduce maternal mortality in Africa will depend more on the training of traditional birth attendants in situ than on increasing staff and skilled attendants within the government health services. [HL1492]
Baroness Crawley: DfID's performance on reducing maternal mortality in Africa will not depend on training traditional birth attendants (TBAs) at the expense of increasing skilled birth attendants (SBAs). Evidence has shown that TBA training has little demonstrable impact on reducing maternal deaths. However, TBAs can have an important socio-cultural role. There is evidence (e.g. in Egypt) that where they are linked to the formal health system, more women benefit from skilled birth attendance.
DfID helps strengthen country health systems as a whole, including training health workers, improving the supply of drugs and commodities, infrastructure, planning and financing to ensure effective delivery of reproductive health services.
Further to the Written Answer by Baroness Taylor of Bolton on 21 January (WA 2), what was the greatest single underpayment to any one service man or woman in 2007; and what was the greatest single overpayment in the same year; and [HL1561]
Further to the Written Answer by Baroness Taylor of Bolton on 21 January (WA 2), whether all pay errors made in 2007 in relation to Armed Forces personnel have been rectified; and whether comparable errors in 2008 will be avoided.[HL1562]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): The total sum underpaid, the greatest single underpayment made in 2007, and the greatest single overpayment made in the same year are not held centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.
I can confirm that all identified under and overpayments of salary that occurred during 2007 have been rectified. Any underpayments are rectified at the earliest opportunity, usually the following month. Overpayments are recovered in accordance with service
28 Feb 2008 : Column WA130
The majority of the pay errors are due to late or incorrect human input. Error rates will reduce as familiarity with the new system grows. There is no complacency and the MoD acknowledges that all such errors should be eliminated if at all possible.
What evaluations they have made or have ordered to be made into the possibility of equipping the two new aircraft carriers with a variation of either the Typhoon or Rafale jets; whether any such evaluations are ongoing; and what the preliminary conclusions are as compared with the joint strike fighter.[HL1947]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): I refer the noble Lord to the Answer given in another place by my right honourable friend the Minister of State for the Armed Forces on 30 October 2007 (Official Report, col. 1356W).
What assistance they are providing to officials in Chad in response to United Nations reports that half of the nearly 180,000 displaced people in that country will not be able to return to their villages by the July deadline if promises on security are not met. [HL1707]
Baroness Crawley: The humanitarian situation in Chad and in western Darfur remains fluid. The rapidly changing humanitarian situation means that the Department for International Development (DfID) is urgently reviewing its funding commitments.
In the financial year 2007-08, the UK Government have committed £6.5 million to Chad through humanitarian agencies. Within these DfID contributions it is difficult to isolate specific support to the internally displaced person population (IDP), as agencies tend to target their interventions to support IDPs, the hosting community and the neighbouring refugee population collectively.
What representations and supportive evidence the Ministry of Justice has received from the United Kingdom Disabled People's Council about making the incitement of hatred on grounds of disability a criminal offence and what action they are considering on this matter.[HL1952]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Maria Eagle met with representatives from the United Kingdom Disabled People's Council on 4 February. It was a useful meeting where members of the council expressed their views and provided a paper. The Government are concerned to tackle crimes against disabled people. We have not yet seen compelling evidence that there is a gap in the law. But we will continue to consider this carefully.
Lord Rooker: The information is not available in the format requested. Court prosecution and conviction datasets do not contain any background information in relation to an offence, therefore it is not possible to separately identify offences such as assault in which alcohol has been a contributory factor. It is only possible to provide information for those offences which, by their definition, refer to alcohol.
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