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Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what plans there are for (a) taking forward the education task force report, officially endorsed at the G8 Summit, and (b) committing funds to do so. 
Clare Short: The G8 Education Task Force Report made recommendations about the need for developing country commitment to Education for All (EFA), the response required from developed countries, and the need for better assessment of performance. It concluded that political commitment at the country level, the provision of adequate domestic financing, and the development of sound education strategies are the foundations for achieving EFA.
At Kananaskis, G8 leaders undertook to significantly increase the support provided by their bilateral aid agencies to basic education for countries with a strong policy and financial commitment to the sector, particularly in Africa; but no specific sums were pledged. It was agreed that each G8 donor will make public the steps it will take to fulfil this commitment.
The Report also addresses the development of a more coherent international process for delivering EFA. It supported closer cooperation between the World bank and UNESCO in moving the EFA process forward. More specifically, it suggested that the UNESCO High Level Group on Education for All continues to meet annually to provide broad political direction and maintain the momentum for EFA; and that a high-quality, annual
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Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when the G8 will provide the additional resources required to deliver good quality primary education to the group of 18 countries selected to receive immediate financing. 
Clare Short: At the Kananaskis summit, G8 leaders agreed to significantly increase the support provided by their bilateral agencies to basic education for countries with a strong policy and financial commitment to the sector, and to make public the steps that each G8 donor will make to fulfil this commitment.
The World bank's fast track initiative is to offer 18 poor countries the chance to qualify for additional financing for primary education if they can demonstrate that their Governments are fully committed and have effective policies in place. A further five countries can apply for assistance in building capacity, filling gaps in data and developing effective policies for primary education. Further discussions about implementing this initiative will be held in Washington on 17 July.
Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment her Department has made of the contribution to the crisis in Southern Africa of (a) HIV/AIDS, (b) sanitation and (c) quality and quantity of water; and how it is taking its findings into account in its approach to the emergency. 
Clare Short: HIV/AIDS is both a contributor to and a likely consequence of current food shortages in Southern Africa. The burden of disease has contributed to families' inability to grow enough food or earn the money to buy it; and shortage of food is leading women to trade sex for survival, to family separations and to reduced access to medical care. In assessing vulnerability NGOs and international organisations through whom we are working are taking account of the need to provide AIDS-affected families with appropriate rations and to design delivery mechanisms which will reach them; and to prevent widespread hunger leading to large scale population movement.
Clare Short: At the national and regional level reservoirs provide security against inter and intra annual variations in rainfall. At the local and household level water storage systems are an important factor to ensure that drinking water does not become contaminated. Our focus in water supply is on sustainable access to safe and
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affordable drinking water. Storage is an important part of this, and we support initiatives ranging from the work of the World Commission on Dams to rainwater harvesting, and groundwater development. But we also emphasize the importance of other factors that affect sustainability, such as appropriate institutional structures, cost recovery for operation and maintenance, and the involvement of local communities to ensure that services respond to their needs. Last year we provided £30 million for water related programmes in Sub-Saharan Africa.
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what impact a lack of decent transport facilities has had on the supply of clean drinking water to people in sub-Saharan Africa. 
Clare Short: Good transport facilities help provide access to school and health care facilities, and improved access to agricultural inputs and markets. We have not made any specific studies of the impact of transportation on access to clean water. But improved transport facilities clearly improve access for construction materials, for spare parts and for maintenance of existing water systems. Intermediate transport, such as improved bicycles, donkey carts and handcarts all contribute to reducing the load carrying drudgery of the poorparticularly women and childrenreleasing time for other livelihood and household activities and to attend school.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps she has taken to (a) monitor and (b) record the length of time between tabling of ordinary written questions to her Department and her Department's answers. 
Ms Keeble: Monitoring and recording of the time between tabling written questions and sending them to Official Report is done both manually and electronically. These are checked daily to ensure that, wherever possible, the time is within the approved target of five working days as prescribed by the Cabinet Office.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what representations her Department has recently received regarding the institutional development of the Small Enterprise Development Agency. 
Ms Keeble: Since 1999 we have supported the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) with almost £1 million to enable it to expand its micro-finance services to the poor, especially women and the rural poor. SEDA has recently discussed with officials the possibility of further support to strengthen its institutional capacity and resources. Any future support to SEDA will be considered as part of our new integrated programme to support the pro-poor development of Tanzania's financial services sector.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what representations her Department has recently received regarding her Department's support of micro-finance institutions in Uganda. 
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Clare Short: DFID is providing £7.1 million for micro-finance institutions in Uganda for financial services to poor people, particularly in rural areas. These programmes are at very early stages and their first formal review is due later this year. However preliminary indications are that they are on track to meet the programme's targets. Several initiatives are also co-funded with other donors, and we are co-operating closely with them, industry stakeholders and the Government of Uganda to ensure best practice, maximum co-ordination and impact.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent representations her Department has received regarding the review of microfinance institutions in Kenya which her Department supports. 
Clare Short: We are not aware of any review of DFID-supported microfinance institutions specific to Kenya. However, a peer review of DFID's international activities in microfinance, including those in Kenya, by other international agencies took place in May. We are currently considering our response to the review report which arrived in early July.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what proportion of microfinance institutions supported by her Department make available voluntary savings facilities. 
Clare Short: Where local banking laws permit, and practice varies from country to country, microfinance institutions are invariably keen to make available voluntary savings facilities. In eastern Africa, two-thirds of DFID- supported microfinance programmes make voluntary savings facilities available in some form. This proportion is likely to be reasonably representative of DFID-supported programmes elsewhere.
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