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EU (Swedish Presidency)

23. Mr. Hendrick: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions her Department has had with the Swedish Development Ministry about Sweden's development priorities during its presidency of the EU. [147661]

Clare Short: We are working closely with the Swedish Development Ministry on development priorities for their EU presidency in January-June 2001. The former Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development, my hon. Friend the Member for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley (Mr. Foulkes), visited Stockholm in October for discussions prior to the Swedish presidency and there are frequent contacts between officials.

The Swedish EU presidency January to June 2001 is an important opportunity to take forward recent efforts to improve the effectiveness of EC development programmes. In particular, Sweden shares our view that it is essential to see early progress in implementing the EC's recently agreed development policy, with its central objective of reducing poverty.

El Salvador

24. Rev. Martin Smyth: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment she has made of the extent of the disaster in El Salvador; and what her Department's response has been. [147662]

Clare Short: The earthquake in El Salvador measured 7.6 on the Richter scale and caused damage affecting over

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1 million people, leaving at least 46,000 people in need of direct humanitarian assistance. It is estimated that some 60,000 people are now in temporary shelters. The worst affected areas are now confirmed to be La Libertad, La Paz, Cuscatlan, Sansonate, and San Vicente. Over 700 people are confirmed dead and more than 4,000 people injured. There has been extensive damage to housing and public buildings including six hospitals. Almost all primary routes are now open and electricity supply has been restored to most parts.

My Department has contributed some £1.3 million for the purchase and distribution of immediate relief assistance including shelter, water and sanitation and medical supplies to those affected by the earthquake in El Salvador. This support is being channelled through the UN, Red Cross and a number of NGOs.

The table summarises the funding allocation and the type of assistance provided.


OrganisationType of assistanceAmount
UNOCHAUN disaster assessment and co-ordination team35,000
IFRCShelter, food, health, water and sanitation100,000
OxfamWater and sanitation300,000
CAREIDP support138,900
Christian AidEmergency shelter100,000
Plan InternationalIDP support50,000
Save the Children UKPublic health, non-food, education200,000
SCIAFEmergency shelter100,000

Water Supplies

25. Mr. Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on the work undertaken by British water companies in developing nations to develop clean water sources and the co-operation given to them by her Department. [147663]

Clare Short: My Department works closely with DETR, the sponsoring Department for the UK water industry, to ensure the companies are fully aware of DFlD's work in developing countries and the role they might play in it. My officials meet regularly with representatives of water companies, and the chairman of Severn Trent Water was a member of the UK delegation to last years World Water Forum in The Hague.

DFID supports the World Bank's Business Partners for Development initiative. This involves a number of the companies in pilot projects. Through this initiative water companies are developing new relationships with civil society and public government bodies and exploring collaborative approaches to extending water supply and sanitation services to the poor.

We also recognise the valuable support provided by the customers and employees of British water companies to WaterAid.

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Departmental Budget

26. Mr. Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how far the budget of her Department relating to poverty reduction is set to increase over the next three years. [147664]

Clare Short: All United Kingdom development assistance is focused on the elimination of poverty.

My Department's budget will increase by an average of 6.2 per cent. over the next three years, taking it to the highest level ever both in cash and real terms--almost £3.6 billion--by 2003-04.

Drugs Trade (Colombia)

27. Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions she has held with her ministerial colleagues in other European countries concerning the plan by the Colombian Government to tackle the drugs trade; and if she will make a statement. [147665]

Clare Short: Plan Colombia sets out the Colombian Government's proposals for tackling violence, social and economic inequalities, abuse of human rights, drug cultivation and trafficking.

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary discussed the plan with the Spanish Foreign Minister on 3 July. My right hon. Friend the Minister of State, Cabinet Office attended a meeting in Madrid on 7 July on behalf of the UK when representatives of European and other countries discussed the issue with members of the Colombian Government. I have not discussed Plan Colombia with European colleagues.

The European Union has pledged assistance of 105 million euro over the period 2000-06 of which the UK share will be about £18 million. It has made clear that

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this is not a contribution to Plan Colombia but a package targeted towards support for human rights, long-term economic and social development and an end to violence.


28. Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment her Department has made of the impact on development programmes of the availability of small firearms. [147666]

Clare Short: The ready availability of small arms has a direct and negative impact upon levels of crime and conflict in developing countries. We are supporting various peace building and disarmament initiatives that address small arms and other conflict related problems, including work to ensure a successful outcome to the "UN 2001 Conference on The Illicit Trade In Small Arms and Light Weapons: All Its Aspects".


29. Mr. Nigel Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will assess the effectiveness of aid programmes in the Balkans. [147667]

Clare Short: We have recently published country strategies for our programmes in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Albania which assess the impact of past aid. We shall review progress on them annually. We are currently reviewing progress on our interim strategies for Kosovo and Macedonia and will revise them as necessary in consultation with their authorities. We are also reviewing our activities in Croatia since the election of the present Government; we shall revise it as necessary.

Individual bilateral projects are subject to a standard process of review for impact and effectiveness.

We have contributed to the design of the new EC Regulation covering assistance to the Balkans with a view to more effective design and delivery. We also work closely with the international financial institutions to encourage high quality programme design which draws on the lessons of experience.


Police Patrols

Miss Widdecombe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the level of uniformed police patrols was in (a) England and Wales as a whole and (b) each individual police force in England and Wales in each of the last five years for which data are available; and if he will make a statement. [148063]

Mr. Charles Clarke [holding answer 31 January 2001]: The table records the number of officers who are predominantly assigned to foot, car and beat patrol duties for each year from 1996-97 to 1999-2000. Information for 2000-01 will be available later in the year following its collection at the end of March by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary.

I understand from Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary that in 1999-2000, 50.3 per cent. of the total number of officers in England and Wales were deployed to patrol duties. Most of the other half of the police service are deployed to other operational duties, such as Criminal Investigation Department, traffic, and other specialist operational activities.

Officers predominantly assigned to foot/car/beat patrol duty by force

Time periods
Avon and Somerset1,442.21,432.21,438.31,538.6
City of London369.9353.2385.2342.2
Devon and Cornwall1,499.91,522.41,488.11,444.4
Greater Manchester3,245.63,361.23,321.43,615.6
Metropolitan police12,307.012,158.711,716.412,312.2
North Wales730.0752.0615.0656.0
North Yorkshire685.4716.2713.4749.3
South Wales1,537.01,472.91,604.71,610.6
South Yorkshire1,404.91,498.91,418.01,467.6
Thames Valley1,888.81,906.32,001.71,761.0
West Mercia906.0925.9903.9798.0
West Midlands3,841.63,994.74,410.64,401.9
West Yorkshire2,677.62,725.32,614.32,487.4
England and Wales62,172.462,202.761,377.561,401.3


Figures are full-time equivalent officers

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