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|Table 2: Imputed UK share of multilateral aid to the Maldives for 1997 to 2005|
|Calendar year||Imputed aid (£000)|
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what financial and other commitments the Government has made following the earthquake in southern Peru; and what steps he is taking to ensure that aid is received by those in need. 
DFID contributed £750,000 to the Peru earthquake response to help provide sanitation and washing facilities for those affected; to assist in planning for longer-term rebuilding; and to ensure that buildings in the area are better able to withstand earthquakes. We also paid for the British leader of the
UNs disaster assessment and coordination team. Our assessment of the people affected by the earthquake showed that funding in this way was the best way for DFID to support those most in need. We will monitor progress.
The United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (UN CERF) has allocated US $9.6 million. The United Kingdom is the largest donor to the UN CERF, contributing 25 per cent. of its budget this year based on current calculations (the UK has provided $83.7 million of $329 million so far contributed).
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much aid the UK Government gave to the Government of the Philippines in the last year for which figures are available. 
£500,000 through WFP to provide food, clean water and safeguard people against water borne diseases.
£149,422 to Save the Children for essential health care support.
We have also offered support to the UN if required to assist with co-ordinating the relief effort.
In Bangladesh we contributed £2.1 million through the Chars Livelihood Programme, United Nations Development Programme and the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) to provide food, water, emergency shelter and medicines to help more than 1 million people in the worst-affected districts.
In Pakistan, we contributed £2.2 million through the Pakistani Rural Support Programme Network, the United Nations, the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) and international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) providing multi-sectoral immediate relief as well as livelihoods assistance.
In India, DFID gave Save the Children £750,000 to provide general relief items, healthcare and livelihood support, childrens education and protection to 13,341 families (including 31,660 children).
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of childrens centres in targeting the most disadvantaged children and families; and if he will make a statement; 
Beverley Hughes: We now have over 1,400 childrens centres up and running providing services to, predominantly, the most disadvantaged communities. The National Evaluation of Sure Start (NESS) findings on the early impact of 150 of the first Sure Start Local Programmes (SSLPs) (November 2005) identified that of those families in the most disadvantaged areas served by SSLPs, 86 per cent. of the parents in the sample were benefiting from Sure Start. However, this evaluation also found that some of the most socially excluded groups could not be shown to be benefiting from living in a SSLP area. Although the NESS methodology could not identify whether any of the children in the sample had actually attended a Sure Start centre or not, we have taken a number of steps to ensure that the most excluded partners benefit.
In November 2005 the Department issued Practice Guidance to encourage greater use of outreach and home-visiting services by childrens centres to reach the most disadvantaged families, which we then updated in November 2006.
To encourage better monitoring and a more systematic approach we issued Planning and Performance Management Guidance in November 2006 which contains a framework for centres to assess their progress in reaching excluded groups in their area.
We also commissioned Together for Children (TfC) to produce a toolkit, issued in December 2006, to complement our Practice Guidance and support centres in gathering information about their area and recording how they engage with excluded groups.
In August, we announced significant additional funds for children's centres for 2008-11 including funding to enable local authorities to add two outreach workers to centres serving the most disadvantaged communities, with a particular emphasis on reaching out to and supporting more fathers.
Research evidence shows that the impact a father's early involvement has on their child is long-lasting. Our revised Practice Guidance therefore emphasises the crucial role fathers have to play in giving their children the best start in life. It provides advice about how childrens centres can tailor their services to meet the needs of fathers, including non-resident parents, how staff should be encouraged to engage proactively with fathers and specific areas where fathers may require additional support. The Planning and Performance Management guidance recommends that childrens centres assess how well they engage with fathers and the TfC toolkit includes advice on working with fathers.
We have not made an assessment of how well childrens centres work with organisations from the community sector. However, an early survey of Phase 1 childrens centres showed that 82 per cent. of childrens centres had contracts with the voluntary sector for services. The Practice Guidance makes clear that local authorities must work with those organisations that have a track record of understanding local needs and delivering services that improve childrens outcomes. In addition, we require local authorities to consult and consider using all private, voluntary and community sector organisations in the area when planning and developing childrens centres services. In 2008, local authorities must review all centres developed in 2003-06 to ensure that maximum use has been made of good quality local private, voluntary and community sector suppliers and repeat this exercise every two years. We expect local authorities to keep evidence that they have carried out the required reviews.
Beverley Hughes: This is a matter for the Childrens Commissioner for England. Rob Williams, the chief executive of the Office of the Childrens Commissioner, has written to the hon. Member with this information and a copy of his reply has been placed in the House Library.
I am writing to you in response to the parliamentary question that you recently tabled 154553. To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, how many press officers are employed by the Childrens Commissioner.
11 MILLION is a national organisation led by the Childrens Commissioner for England, Professor Sir Albert Aynsley-Green. Our mission is to use our powers and independence to ensure that the views of children and young people are routinely asked for, listened to and that outcomes for children improve over time. We aim to do this in partnership with others, by bringing children and young people into the heart of the decision-making process to increase understanding of their best interests.
Our two long-term goals are that children and young people see significant improvements in their wellbeing and can freely enjoy their rights under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), and that children and young people are more highly valued by adult society.
In the financial year 2007/08, 11 MILLION has the equivalent of 2.5 staff members spread across two full-time press officers and other communications staff.
A copy of this reply will be placed in the house library.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what his Departments projected spending is on advertising and promotional campaigns for (a) 2007-08 and (b) 2008-09, broken down by cost relating to (i) television, (ii) radio and (iii) print media. 
|Spend to date||Projected spend|
The A and P budget for 2007-2008 is £13.5 million. In addition to funding promotional campaigns, this covers a wide variety of publicity activities (e.g. the Childrens Plan consultation, magazines for teachers and governors and attendance at events like The Education Show), as well as marketing infrastructure support (e.g. paying for the Departments mailing house).
It is not possible to provide figures for 2008-09. Budgets for individual campaigns will not be agreed until communications priorities and objectives for 2008-09 have been finalised and planning (informed by evaluation of 2007-08 activity) has been completed.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what representations he has received from the Youth Parliament on sex and relationships education in schools; and if he will make a statement. 
Kevin Brennan: We recognise fully the benefits of play for children and we continue to take steps to support and promote the provision of opportunities for play. We have not issued guidance on the commercial sponsorship of childrens play facilities: funding for such facilities is a matter for each local authority to determine.
No assessment has been made centrally. It is for primary care trusts in partnership with local stakeholders to determine how best to use their funds to meet national and local priorities for improving health, outlined in the national service frameworks, and to commission services accordingly. This process provides the means for addressing local needs within the health community, including the provision of speech and language therapy (SLT).
A major review into the provision of services for children and young people with speech, language and communications needs was announced on 11 September by my right hon. Friends the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families and the Secretary of State for Health. The review will report by summer 2008 and will build on the investment and improvements to SLT and resources in the last 10 years.
Information about waiting times for SLT provided by the national health service (NHS) are not collected centrally. The Department of Health collects waiting times information by consultant led specialties. SLT is not a consultant led speciality. Our objective is to balance the need for data against the burden that data collection places on the NHS.
This funding allocation contributed to Bournemouth councils wider effort to tackle antisocial behaviour and contributed towards the initial set up costs of its Family Intervention Project.
£50,000 for a parenting expert, based in or linked to the antisocial behaviour team, to deliver additional parenting support to families. This funding was announced on 21 November 2006 and is available in 77 areas across England.
£125,000 to improve Bournemouths parenting services for families whose children are at risk of or involved in antisocial
behaviour. The Respect Task Force announced this funding on 22 January 2007 as part of a wider announcement highlighting the commitment of 40 areas to become Respect areas, of which Bournemouth were announced as one. All Respect areas were invited to apply for £125,000.
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