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"the number of Ministers with allocated cars and drivers will be kept to a minimum, taking into account security and other relevant considerations. Other Ministers will be entitled to use cars from the Government Car Service Pool as needed".
Mr Andrew Mitchell: The Prime Minister has written to Cabinet Ministers reiterating transparency commitments made in the coalition programme for Government, and setting out a timetable for achieving them. In particular, all new items of central Government spending over £25,000 will be published online in an open format from November 2010.
Mr Andrew Mitchell: As part of the Department for International Development's (DFID's) wider development awareness work in the UK, the Global School Partnerships Programme is subject to review. A decision on future support to this area of work will be made in due course.
Mr Andrew Mitchell: The amount of Official Development Assistance (ODA) provided to Malawi by the UK Government is published in Statistics on International Development, which is available on the Department for International Development's (DFID's) website at:
Mr Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the likelihood of drought in Niger in the next six months; and whether he plans to offer assistance to Niger to alleviate the effects of any drought. 
Mr Andrew Mitchell: Over 7.1 million people in Niger already face severe or moderate food insecurity following poor rains, harvests and pastures in 2009. The Africa Centre of Meteorological Applications for Development latest forecast is for normal levels of rainfall during the next six months. We will continue to monitor the situation carefully.
The Department for International Development (DFID) has already provided over £9.5 million to United Nations agencies and non-governmental organisations to respond to the most urgent needs in Niger. Our funding will
provide food aid to 118,000 people for three months; treat 20,000 children with severe acute malnutrition; provide cash for work or payments to 20,000 households; support 15,000 vulnerable households maintain a minimum number of livestock and provide seeds to more than 81,000 households. An additional £1 million has been provided to strengthen the longer term resilience of communities to future disasters.
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much funding his Department has allocated to the (a) International Planned Parenthood Federation and (b) United Nations Population Fund in each year since 1997. 
Mr Andrew Mitchell: Details of the Department for International Development's (DFID's) core unrestricted funding to the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in each year since 1997 are provided in the following table.
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether his Department places restrictions on the purposes for which funds allocated to the (a) International Planned Parenthood Federation and (b) United Nations Population Fund are used; what guidance his Department has issued to each such organisation on the use of such funds in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Andrew Mitchell: It is a major priority for the UK Government to improve sexual and reproductive health and rights, including access to modern family planning methods and promoting women's choice, in the developing world.
The Department for International Development's (DFID's) funding to International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is unrestricted. Guidance on the use of DFID's funding is contained in a Partnership Programme Arrangement (PPA) which was agreed in 2008. The PPA states that funding is provided in support of reproductive health.
DFID provides up to £20 million of unrestricted funding to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) per year. Guidance on how these funds should be used is contained in a Memorandum of Understanding between DFID and UNFPA. Release of funding is subject to progress against targets that relate to the objectives in UNFPA's Strategic Plan.
In 2008 DFID also agreed to provide £100 million to UNFPA's Global Programme for Reproductive Health Commodity Security (GPRHCS) for the period 2008-13. Guidance in the Memorandum of Understanding between DFID and UNFPA states that this funding can only be used to meet the aims of the GPRHCS.
Officials from my Department are closely monitoring events on the ground, including through regular visits to Gaza. I also met this week with John Ging, Head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) operations on Wednesday 2 June, who briefed me in detail on the current situation.
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether his Department plans to discuss with the US administration the implications for his Department's policies of its decision to (a) reinstate the US contribution to the United Nations Population Fund and (b) rescind the Mexico City policy; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Andrew Mitchell: Department for International Development (DFID) officials are in regular contact with their US counterparts about sexual and reproductive health and rights and other health issues, and I have personally spoken to the new USAID Administrator, Dr Rajiv Shah. As my hon. friend will know, this is a particular priority of the Government.
Mr Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of bi-lateral UK assistance to Zimbabwe; and what measures are being taken to ensure such aid is not affected by corruption. 
Mr Andrew Mitchell: The Department for International Development's (DFID's) programme in Zimbabwe has helped deliver Anti-Retroviral Treatment to 58,000 people, provide essential medicines to approximately 1,300 primary care clinics and rural hospitals, and contributed to a programme to give every primary school child access to school materials.
In the coming months, I will be reviewing DFID's aid programme in Zimbabwe to determine how we can achieve better value for money for the British taxpayer and accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals.
Robert Neill: We have committed, in the coalition Government document, "The Coalition: our programme for government", that we would radically reform the planning system to give neighbourhoods far more ability to determine the shape of the places in which their inhabitants live, based on the principles set out in the Conservative Party publication "Open Source Planning". In terms of planning the supply of housing, we have set out our intention to rapidly abolish regional spatial strategies and return decision-making powers on housing and planning to local councils. We will provide more details on our approach shortly.
Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether he will accept further representations from (a) local residents and (b) other interested parties, on planning application 07/00680/OUT at Innsworth, Gloucestershire; and if he will make a statement. 
Robert Neill: It is not the Secretary of State's intention to accept any further representations from local residents or other interested parties on planning application 07/00680/OUT at Innsworth, Gloucestershire. Representations have in fact already been received. My right hon. Friend will issue his decision on or before 30 June, as advised to all main parties.
Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether his Department has issued guidance to local planning authorities on their powers to control the flying of national flags outside licensed premises. 
Robert Neill: Flags are classified as advertisements and are controlled by local planning authorities, under the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations 2007. Guidance on these Regulations has been issued in CLG Circular 03/2007, available at:
No consent or permission is required to fly any country's national flag at any premises provided nothing is added to the design of the flag or to any flagstaff and it complies with the standard conditions that apply to all advertisements.
Robert Neill: We will give residents the power to veto excessive council tax rises that go above a set threshold. We will set out our proposals on the threshold and the mechanism for initiating a referendum in a consultation document later this year.
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