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Millennium Dome

Sir Alastair Goodlad: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions she has had with the (a) Minister without Portfolio and (b) Chancellor of the Exchequer about a Third World debt reduction project at the Millennium Dome; and if she will make a statement. [42716]

Clare Short: My Department and the Treasury have consulted carefully with each other about the so-called "Bondfire Project". Earlier this month I wrote to the Minister without Portfolio, stressing the need to ensure if the project went ahead that bond purchasers' money went to help poor countries, not their creditors. I understand the proposal is now being revised.

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Westminster Foundation for Democracy

Sir Alastair Goodlad: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what funding her Department provided to the Westminster Foundation for Democracy in (a) 1996-97 and (b) 1997-98; and what sums she plans to provide in 1998-99. [42444]

Clare Short: The Department for International Development (DFID) did not provide any funding to the Westminster Foundation for Democracy in 1996-97 or 1997-98.

I have no plans to provide funding in 1998-99, but we will seek closer coherence between the activities of the Foundation and the related activities of DFID.

Human Rights

Mr. Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what representations she has received regarding Her Majesty's Government's first annual human rights reports from (a) foreign Governments, (b) international aid agencies and (c) British charities and non-Governmental organisations. [42347]

Clare Short: I have not yet received any formal representations on the Annual Human Rights Report. We are, of course, engaged in discussion about the issues in the Report.

Sir Alastair Goodlad: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much her Department spent in (a) 1996-97 and (b) 1997-98 in the areas of (i) human rights and (ii) democracy and good governance; in which countries; and what provision she has made for similar expenditure in 1998-99. [42467]

Clare Short: Commitments on human rights were not recorded as such until 1 April 1998. However, civil and political rights are related to our commitments on democracy and good governance which amounted to £72.9 million in 1996-97 and £78.5 million in 1997-98. Commitments were made in these years to the following countries:






















20 May 1998 : Column: 407


    Nepal


    Pakistan


    Poland


    Republic of Kazakhstan


    Romania


    Russian Federation


    Rwanda


    Sierra Leone


    Slovak Republic


    Somalia


    South Africa


    South Pacific


    Swaziland


    Tanzania


    Turks and Caicos Islands


    Uganda


    Ukraine


    Uzbekistan


    West Bank/Gaza


    Zambia


    Zimbabwe


    1997-98


    Afghanistan


    Albania


    Angola


    Anguilla


    Bangladesh


    Belize


    Bolivia


    Bosnia


    Botswana


    Brazil


    Bulgaria


    Burundi


    Cambodia


    China


    Cote d'Ivoire


    Dominica


    Gambia


    Georgia


    Ghana


    Guinea


    Guyana


    India


    Jamaica


    Kenya


    Latvia


    Lesotho


    Malawi


    Montserrat


    Mozambique


    Namibia


    Nepal


    Nicaragua


    Pakistan


    Poland


    Republic of Kazakhstan


    Republic of Uzbekistan

20 May 1998 : Column: 408


    Romania


    Russian Federation


    Rwanda


    Serbia


    Sierra Leone


    Slovak Republic


    Slovenia


    South Africa


    Sri Lanka


    St. Lucia


    Swaziland


    Tanzania


    Turks and Caicos Islands


    Uganda


    Ukraine


    Vietnam


    West Bank and Gaza


    Yugoslavia


    Zambia


    Zimbabwe.

In addition, many other commitments made by the Department for International Development are related to economic, social and cultural rights, for example those in education, health, water and sustainable livelihoods, and are designed to enhance the capacity of states and civil society to achieve these rights.

We have no plans to limit the financial amounts which may be committed to human rights, democracy and good governance by making a specific provision for expenditure in 1998-99.

Sir Alastair Goodlad: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assistance her Department is giving to human rights projects, and at what cost, in (a) Malawi, (b) Zambia, (c) Sierra Leone and (d) Nigeria. [42468]

Clare Short: Expenditure on our human rights work was not recorded as such until 1 April 1998. However, much of our work contributes to the civil and political, economic, social and cultural rights of poor and disadvantaged peoples, such as our work on good governance, support for education, health, water and rural livelihoods.

In Malawi and Zambia we support access to basic health and education for poor and disadvantaged groups (nearly £70 million in Malawi, over £60 million in Zambia). We support anti-corruption institutions in both countries, other human rights bodies (e.g. the Malawi criminal legal system, the Zambia Human Rights Commission), and provide human rights training for the Malawi police. We also support the development of civil society organisations, including civic education on women's rights and training for journalists in Zambia. These total some £3 million in Malawi and £1 million in Zambia. We plan to help both countries further to implement the international Conventions they have signed.

20 May 1998 : Column: 409

In Nigeria we have committed £15 million to basic health projects and £2.2 million to education programmes. We have also committed £300,000 to help a range of local non-governmental organisations through workshops and in-country training to strengthen accountability and transparency (e.g. workshops for local journalists, improving access to justice), human rights (e.g. gender training), democracy, and training in conflict management. In Sierra Leone, we have contributed £2 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross, part of which supports human rights monitoring.

Botswana

Sir Alastair Goodlad: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assistance her Department is giving towards promoting the human rights of remote area dwellers in Botswana; and at what cost. [42466]

Clare Short: We have offered support for a consultative process to ensure that the needs of Remote Area Dwellers, many of whom are Basarwa (or San) people, are effectively addressed in implementation of the Botswana Government's new National Development Plan. We are also considering support to the Ngamiland West Participatory Development Initiative, to help local communities make effective use of natural resources, at a cost of up to £1,100,000.

Information

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if her Department operates a monitoring exercise of persistent inquirers for information. [42640]

Clare Short: The Department for International Development has few persistent inquirers and has not put in place any formal monitoring exercise.

WALES

Hill Farmers

4. Mr. Fraser: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on the current situation of hill farmers. [41416]

20 May 1998 : Column: 410

Mr. Ron Davies: Farm incomes fell sharply in 1997. The Government therefore provided £85 million in agrimoney compensation for cattle and sheep producers, and this provides substantial help for hill farmers.

In addition, the Government have provided £35 million to pay for the start up costs and first year running costs for the Cattle Tracing System and a further £35 million to relieve the industry of extra charges related to the new Specified Risk Material (SRM) regulations. These measures represent considerable assistance to the industry. The Government will continue to keep the case for further agrimoney compensation under review.

EU Structural Funds

12. Mr. Cash: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what progress he has made in gaining financial assistance from the European Union for areas of severe economic deprivation in Wales. [41424]

Mr. Hain: The UK Government in conjunction with all other Member States are currently negotiating draft Structural Funds Regulations for the period 2000-2006 with the European Commission. The Welsh Office is fully involved with these negotiations. An integral part of these Regulations are the criteria which will determine future eligibility.

18. Mr. Gareth Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had with other Government departments on the review of European structural funds in Wales. [41431]

Mr. Hain: We are in regular discussions with a number of Government Departments, on all aspects of Structural Funds policy.


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