International Development written question – answered on 24th February 2005.

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Photo of Joan Ruddock Joan Ruddock Labour, Lewisham, Deptford

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what support the UK has given to democracy-building in Iraq; what the cost of that support has been; and what proportion of the budget was allocated to support for women.

Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn The Secretary of State for International Development

Democracy building is a strategic priority of the UK's support to Iraq, as set out in DFID's Iraq Country Assistance Plan (February 2004). DFID works closely with the FCO to support and encourage a stable, united and law abiding state that provides effective and representative government, sustainable economic growth and rising living standards for all Iraqi citizens.

DFID has funded a number of initiatives to support democracy-building activities in Iraq. These have included $10 million in support of the Independent Elections Commission of Iraq (IECI) for the recent elections; and funding for two advisers to the UN team supporting the IECI. DFID's £5 million Political Participation Fund (PPF) supports initiatives which aim to increase opportunities for political representation and participation in the political process. Projects funded so far include voter education and media and monitors' training for the recent elections. There is no specific allocation to support for women, but the project has a particular focus on supporting women's participation in the political process. So far nine projects amounting to over £300,000 have been specifically targeted at women.

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