§ Mrs. Spelman
To ask the Minister of State, Department for International Development pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Bridgend (Mr. Griffiths) of 22 May 2003,Official Report, column 972W, on Central America, when his Department has had discussions with the Government of Nicaragua concerning violence and social exclusion in Central America; what the content of these discussions was, with particular reference to street children; and what the outcome was of these discussions. 
§ Hilary Benn
DFID has been working on the issue of violence in Nicaragua since 2001, supporting the government to develop an integrated program that will address social causes of violence. The Government of Nicaragua recognises that many children are on the street and in street gangs due to poverty, intra-family violence and drug and alcohol abuse. DFID has been supporting the Education Department to develop a system of counsellors for children in schools in order to decrease drop out rates and ensure that the schools are a centre for support for children at risk. DFID has also been supporting the Ministry of the Family in developing community level responses to exclusion, violence and abuse.