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Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 18 June 2008, Official Report, column 1040W, on India: overseas aid, what targets have been set for the universal elementary education programme in India. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The Indian Government's flagship Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) programme, described in the answer of 18 June 2008, sets a number of targets for universal elementary education. These targets, for achievement by 2009-10, include reducing the number of out of school children aged six to 14 years from 13.4 million (2005-06) to 4.9 million; ensuring that girls share of enrolments and Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe shares of enrolments are maintained or increased relative to their share in the population as a whole; increasing student attendance rates at the primary and upper primary levels from 70 per cent. and 75 per cent. respectively to 85 per cent. and 90 per cent.; increasing the retention rate at the primary level from 71 per cent. to 75 per cent.; increasing the transition rate from primary to upper primary levels from 83 per cent. to 89 per cent.; adequately and regularly monitoring learning levels of elementary education students; and improving learning levels of students in grade 3 in particular.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 18 June 2008, Official Report, columns 1039-40W, on India: overseas aid, what form the technical assistance provided by his Department to the Andhra Pradesh government took; and whether steps are being taken by his Department to support the provision of long-term education as part of the rural livelihoods programme. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: Pursuant to the response of 18 June 2008, the technical assistance provided by the Department for International Development (DFID) to the Government of Andhra Pradesh has taken the form of advisory inputs by national and international consultants on: livelihood enhancement, human resource management, water audits, gender, evaluation and impact assessment. Technical assistance was also used to recommend improvements in the ways government departments operate and train officials to discharge their duties more effectively.
There was no formal education component in the Andhra Pradesh Rural Livelihoods project, although there was a strong emphasis on capacity building of community members, particularly women to develop new skills, in areas related to livelihoods and income generating activities. The project ended in December 2007.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 18 June 2008, Official Report, column 494W, on International Health Partnership, in what way the International Health Partnership gave momentum to the new policy on free health care in Nepal; and what resources his Department is providing to improve the overall quality of health care in Nepal in 2008-09. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The International Health Partnership's (IHP) goal is to accelerate progress on the health related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) through improvements to health systems as well as more effective use of aid. The Government of Nepal (GoN) joined the IHP while the GoN's Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) were designing how to scale up the free health care policy: a policy designed to improve access by the poor to services. The IHP launch event provided the Minister of Health and Population with valuable global evidence to inform policy-making and expansion of delivery. The Department for International Development (DFID) has provided technical support to the policy both preceding the launch of the IHP and subsequently. DFID provided an additional £3 million for fiscal years 2007-08 and 2008-09 in recognition of the IHP and supporting the free health care policy.
For 2008-09 DFID is providing £20.5 million to the health sector. This funds three programmes: the overall health programme (called the Nepal Health Sector Programme), Support to the Safe Motherhood programme and the HIV/AIDS programme. Most of the fund is provided as budget support to be managed by, and through, the government's system.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his Department's timetable is for its implementation plan to take forward the OECD Development Assistance Committee Principles; and what estimate he has made of the cost to his Department of fulfiling its commitments under the plan; and how much it will cost to fulfil the plan. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander:
The UK attaches great importance to the work of the OECD Development Assistance Committee in developing best practice guidance
for donors whether in the form of principles, guidelines or policy statements. Where appropriate we will continue to work with others to ensure such guidance is associated with clear commitments and targets for its implementation.
For example, the Paris principles (partner country ownership, alignment, harmonisation, managing for results and mutual accountability) provide an organising framework for the commitments set out in the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness. The international community agreed 12 targets to monitor the implementation of these commitments, and most recently reviewed progress in doing so at the Third High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness held in Accra on 2-4 September. The Accra Agenda for Action, which resulted from that meeting, represents an important further means to accelerate progress towards the Paris Declaration targets set for 2010.
UK delivery of the Paris Declaration commitments and targets now forms part of the Department for International Development's (DFID) Departmental Strategic Objectives rather than of a separate action plan. There are therefore no costs associated with fulfilling a separate plan. Our progress in meeting our Paris Declaration commitments and targets is subject to DFID's normal management and reporting mechanisms.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what programmes his Department has initiated to increase opportunities for individuals in the UK to assist developing countries in the last three years. 
Mr. Michael Foster: The Department for International Development (DFID) has initiated two programmes to increase opportunities for individuals in the UK to assist developing countries in the last three years.
In February 2008, DFID launched a youth volunteering programme, called Platform2. This aims both to increase awareness of development issues among young people in the UK (with a focus on less advantaged youth), and to enable young people to contribute meaningfully to community led overseas development projects. The programme aims to involve a minimum of 2,500 young people over three years. Since the launch, 170 UK volunteers have completed (or are currently participating) in the programme in Ghana, South Africa, Peru, India, Malawi and Nepal.
In July 2008 DFID launched the Diaspora Volunteering scheme to fund volunteers from UK Diaspora communities to use their skills and experience to help development in poor countries. It aims to send at least 600 volunteers to developing countries over three years. The first volunteers have started working in India, Nepal and Cameroon.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 19 June 2008, Official Report, column 1182W, on overseas aid, to what other programmes funds not disbursed to partner governments were allocated. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: A final breakdown of Department for International Development (DFID) expenditure for 2007-08 was published on 2 October 2008 in the publication Statistics on International Development 2007-08. This publication is available on the DFID website
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 20 June 2008, Official Report, columns 1271-2W, on overseas aid: standards, how the transparency of donors' actions will be measured as part of the harmonisation principle. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The OECD's Development Assistance Committee measures donors' commitments on harmonisation in the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness through achievement of three targets: 66 per cent. of aid flows through programme based approaches, 40 per cent. of missions to the field conducted jointly with other donors, and 66 per cent. of analytical work conducted jointly.
At the Third High Level Forum (HLF3) on Aid Effectiveness held in Ghana from 2-4 September, the UK played a key role in getting international agreement to speed up implementation of the Paris Declaration. The Accra Agenda for Action commits donors to
publicly disclose regular, detailed and timely information on volume, allocation and, when available, results of development expenditure to enable more accurate budget, accounting and audit by developing countries.
Also at the HLF, 14 donors, including UNDP, World Bank, EC, Germany and the Netherlands, signed up to a new UK-led International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI). This will enable donors to implement and go beyond the commitment made in the Accra Agenda for Action and ensure that information on aid flows is available to everyone. Donors will work together to agree before the end of 2009 an accessible common format for the publication of information about aid. The initiative will help citizens hold donors and governments to account for their promises and enable partner governments and their citizensthose who ultimately benefit from aidto plan for and make the best use of aid.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 20 June 2008, Official Report, columns 1272-3W, on overseas aid: standards, what steps donors and partners are taking to achieve the priorities for improvement referred to in the answer in order to meet 2010 targets. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: At the Third High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, held in Accra, Ghana from 2-4 September 2008, strong UK leadership helped to secure an ambitious Accra Agenda for Action which will speed up implementation of the Paris Declaration.
A step change in donors' use of partner government systems to deliver aid, with a new target to channel 50 per cent. of government-to-government aid through country systems, thus improving alignment;
Strengthening of national, and for the first time international, mutual accountability mechanisms, allowing donors and partner countries to better hold each other accountable for meeting their commitments, with a milestone agreed for 2009;
Donors agreed to respect and support partner country-led efforts to agree a better division of labour between donors at country leveland for the first time at international level too; we agreed to start dialogue on international division of labour by June 2009. This will reduce transaction costs for partner countries and help address the issue of under-aided countries;
For the first time and beginning now, donors will provide partner governments with forward expenditure or implementation plans for the following three to five years, allowing partner countries to integrate the information in their medium-term planning and macroeconomic frameworks. This will help developing countries plan to use aid to implement their own priorities, e.g. recruiting nurses and teachers; and
Partner countries will improve their information systems, with support from donors to develop national statistical capacity. The UK announced £50 million support for a new multi-donor Statistics for Results Facility. Donors will use these systems to manage development results.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent discussions he has had with the Carbon Trust; and how much expenditure has been set aside for the introduction and operation of renewable technologies in his Department's UK offices. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The Department for International Development (DFID) has had various discussions with the Carbon Trust, and through them have commissioned building surveys of both our UK offices, at 1 Palace Street in London, and Abercrombie House in East Kilbride. While these surveys found that the buildings were inherently energy efficient, they also identified technologies which merited further investigation. Further work has been carried out through the Carbon Trust to assess the feasibility of these, such as a wind turbine and a Biomass boiler at Abercrombie House, and a Tri-generation plant at 1 Palace Street.
Earlier this year DFID invested in voltage modulation equipment which has reduced the electricity consumption at 1 Palace Street by around 15 per cent.. The level of capital funding for the next 3Â1/2 years is still being considered.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the administrative cost to his Department was for delivery of £30 million to the UN Peacebuilding Fund in Sierra Leone; what programmes have been funded through the fund; and what other steps his Department is taking to support the UN in Sierra Leone. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: No administrative support is provided by the Department for International Development (DFID) to the UN Peace building Fund (PBF) in Sierra Leone. DFID is a member of the PBF Steering Committee in Sierra Leone; its remit includes assessment and approval of proposals and oversight of implementation.
The Peacebuilding Fund was set up in March 2007 with an envelope of $35 million. UNDP administers the fund from New York and provides the local secretariat.
To date, seven projects have been formally approved for fundingfull details of these can be viewed on UNDP's website:
DFID works closely with a number of UN agencies in Sierra Leone. This includes direct funding for project implementationfor example to UNICEF for a national Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programme, as well as contribution to basket fundsfor example to a fund managed by UNDP to support the delivery of the 2007 national and 2008 local elections.
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer
of 19 June 2008, Official Report, columns 1177-8W, how the US$5 billion of private investment will be distributed. 
Mr. Thomas: The more than US$ 5 billion private sector investment which has been mobilised in relation to the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) is helping to improve telecommunications, energy, transport, industrial and other infrastructure in African countries such as Cameroon, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Nigeria and Uganda. A detailed breakdown of the US$ 5.5 billion private sector investments together with EAIF finance is given in the attached table (Annex 1).
|Annex 1: EAIF Active and Completed projects as of June 2008|
|Project||EAIF||Year||Country||Sector||Comments||PSI Committed ($m)|
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