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Baroness Amos: The Department for International Development has five members of staff at the British Embassy in Beijing at present. All are on contracts of between two and three years. Their terms of reference are to manage the department's portfolio of bilateral development projects in China. DfID also funds three locally recruited members of staff, on annual contract to the Diplomatic Service Bureau, who provide administrative support. A fourth post is under recruitment.
There were no DfID staff in post five years ago. Prior to May 1999 bilateral projects were administered by Diplomatic Service staff in the Embassy as part of their wider duties, supported by locally recruited staff.
Baroness Amos: The World Food Programme has launched a $58 million appeal this year for 1.7 million people in need of emergency food in the Sudan. Non-government organisation (NGO) sources confirm that food supplies are relatively good at present and rates of malnutrition low. Western Upper Nile and Northern Bahr el Gazal are two areas of potential concern because of limited access. DfID and its international and NGO partners will continue to keep the situation under close review and respond as necessary.
Baroness Amos: No definitive figures are available on the proportion of humanitarian assistance diverted. We continue to watch this very closely and to press the UN and non-government organisations (NGOs) for action to improve the targeting of humanitarian aid and the cessation of diversions.
Other groups may also be working with funding from other sources. On 1 March 2000, a number of NGOs withdrew from areas of South Sudan controlled by the Sudan Peoples' Liberation Army because they were unwilling to sign an agreement controlling their activities.
|Aktion Afrika Hilfe||183,961||--||183,961|
|British Red Cross/International Committee Red Cross||--||2,250,000||2,250,000|
|Medecins Sans Frontieres||555,149||2,837,204||3,392,353|
|Save the Children Fund||698,085||743,731||1,441,816|
Baroness Amos: We have detected no evidence of non-governmental organisation (NGO) involvement in these activities. An EU arms embargo was initiated in 1994. We expect this to remain for as long as the civil war continues.
The Minister of State, Department for Education and Employment (Baroness Blackstone): The Government, in partnership with the Commission for Racial Equality and others, are actively promoting voluntary ethnic monitoring as best practice to business. Employers are being encouraged to monitor both applicants for jobs and their workforce. This approach is being promoted in a number of ways, including by the Race Relations Advisory Service (RREAS), which works with employers to guide them in implementing race equality strategies. Nearly half of all employers who have worked with RREAS have introduced ethnic monitoring systems.
Baroness Blackstone: The Ethnic Minority and Traveller Achievement Grant is designed to raise standards for those ethnic minority and traveller pupils at risk of under-achieving and to meet the particular needs of pupils for whom English is an additional language.
We are making available more money than ever before as part of our drive to raise the academic achievements of those ethnic minority groups at risk of under-achieving. For 2000-01, £162.5 million will be available to local education authorities and schools to improve the attainment of ethnic minority, Traveller and refugee pupils--an increase of 7 per cent on the amount available for these purposes in 1999-2000. The formula used to allocate the ethnic minority achievement element of the grant in 2000-01 protected each authority's total grant in 1999-2000, while distributing additional funds on the basis of need.
As a condition of grant, local education authorities are required to submit detailed action plans to the Government for approval. These action plans must set out strategies for raising achievement, include information about the academic performance of ethnic minority pupils, and set targets for raising attainment levels.
To assist in raising the achievement levels of ethnic minority pupils, we have recently published a new document, Removing the barriers. The document sets out a range of measures that have been successful in raising achievement at school level, in a form that is eaily accessible for busy teachers. We are also planning to develop a consultancy service for schools to help them address the needs of children from a minority ethnic background. In addition, we will be disseminating information on good practice through a new website and setting up regional networks to help teachers share knowledge and expertise with each other.
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