HC Deb 15 December 2003 vol 415 cc714-5W
Ms Oona King:

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when his Department will publish a joint strategy paper on the Great Lakes Region; what assessment he has made of the most recent report of the UN panel of experts on the exploitation of natural resources in the Democratic Republic of Congo; and if he will make a statement. [141833]

Hilary Benn:

DFID plans to publish a note shortly, agreed jointly with the FCO, which will outline its global and regional approach to conflict resolution and development in the Great Lakes.

The FCO will shortly make a statement on the final report of the UN Panel, representing its position and that of the Department for Trade and Industry and DFID.

Mr. Rosindell:

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps are being taken as part of the UK's initiative to improve primary education in (a) Rwanda and (b) Malawi. [142282]

Hilary Benn:

The Government of Rwanda have made remarkable progress in providing education for all since the 1994 genocide. Primary Net Enrolment reached 81.7 per cent. this year, more than twice the figure for 1995.

DFID has committed more than £13 million to education in Rwanda since 2001, focusing on improving the access, equity and quality of primary education. This includes £3 million for the purchase of primary school textbooks, as well as support for the development of the curriculum, the decentralisation of basic education services, initiatives for out-of-school children and for girls, education on HIV/AIDS and capacity building for education officials.

In addition, DFID provides some £25 million a year and the EC some €17 million a year in flexible budget support to the Government of Rwanda, which supports the implementation of Rwanda's Poverty Reduction Strategy.

DFID is also supporting improvements to the quality and accessibility of primary education in Malawi. This includes support for a more relevant primary curriculum, improved in-service training of teachers and the involvement of communities in school management. We have also built 250 classrooms and plan to add another 1,250 more. The total value of our current financial commitment is £61 million. We spent £4.6 million in financial year 2002–03 on education in Malawi.

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