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Clare Short: British and European Community (EC) assistance in Burma is provided for a wide variety of humanitarian needs including the needs of refugees. DFID also provides funding for HIV/AIDS interventions. We are currently increasing our funding through selected INGOs and UN agencies to assist the most needy in Burma.
The total UK humanitarian assistance provided to Burma in 200001 was £0.8 million. We have committed up to £2 million for humanitarian purposes for 200102. This includes funding for the needs of refugees/returnees and the war-affected, including ethnic minorities in the Thailand border areas. Last year we spent £0.2 million on HIV/AIDS; our commitment for this financial year is £1.6 million.
Assistance provided to Burma through ECHO for the calendar year 2000 was euro 2 million or approximately £1.3 million (the same amount has been allocated for 2001). Assistance is delivered through European NGOs and focuses on health including HIV/AIDS, water and sanitation. Some assistance is provided to Burmese refugees in Thailand and for the protection of detainees in prison. The UK EC attribution for 2001 is 19 per cent.
Ms Shipley: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what estimate she has made of the number of Afghan children in danger of dying this winter; and what steps she has taken to provide assistance. 
Clare Short: Afghanistan has one of the worst infant mortality rates in the world with one in four children dying before the age of five. Every effort is being made to minimise the suffering of all vulnerable Afghans, including children. Humanitarian agencies, particularly the World Food Programme (WFP) and UNICEF, continue to make good progress in transporting essential relief supplies to Afghanistan. However, some areas of Afghanistan are proving difficult to access because of continuing insecurity.
Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment her Department has made of the security situation in Afghanistan and its effect on the delivery of humanitarian aid. 
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Clare Short: United Nations agencies, particularly the World Food Programme (WFP) and UNICEF, the Red Cross movement and NGOs continue to make good progress in transporting essential relief supplies into Afghanistan. Over the past month, WFP has delivered over 68,000 tonnes of food, exceeding its monthly target. International staff of humanitarian agencies have now returned to some areas of the country and are working with national staff to reach those in need of assistance. However, progress is heavily dependent on improved security. Some areas of Afghanistan are still proving difficult to access because of continuing insecurity.
Clare Short: My Department is in regular contact with UNHCR at both field and headquarters level to try to ensure that resources are used effectively for the provision of assistance to Afghan refugees and the protection of their rights. We continue to do all we can to ensure that Afghan refugees are properly cared for and give neighbouring countries the necessary support to cope with the burden of refugees, for whom they have provided over a long period.
We have committed £3 million to UNHCR's operations for refugees in response to the current crisis. This has included technical personnel, material and financial support. At the request of UNHCR, my Department has provided three relief flights to Iran and Pakistan transporting tents, shelter material and communications equipment. We have also provided a specialist site planner to UNHCR in Pakistan to assist with the setting up of new refugee campsites. In addition we are supporting a number of NGOs assisting refugees, including Christian Aid, Islamic Relief, Oxfam, and Save the Children.
Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment she has made of the outcome of the Reconstruction Afghanistan Conference in Islamabad; and if she will make a statement on the future of Afghanistan. 
The conference highlighted the need for security and stability to underpin reconstruction. We are fully committed to supporting Ambassador Brahimi and the United Nations system in their central role to help the people of Afghanistan and the new Interim Authority. A copy of our updated "Emergency Plan to Initiate Recovery" has been placed in the House Library. Further details of the conference can be found at www.reliefweb.int.
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Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which countries that allow child soldiers to be used in conflict within their countries receive financial assistance from the UK for aid projects. 
Clare Short: It is difficult to say which countries "allow" the use of soldiers. Where non-state actors use children in armed conflict, this is usually in opposition to the Government of that country. Other countries may state that they do not use children, yet there are reports of children being used.
The UK provides development assistance to countries that are committed to poverty reduction and who will use our assistance effectively. The protection of children caught up in armed conflict is an important aspect of our development assistance programmes, which can include, among other things, working with Governments to improve their human rights record. DFID is contributing, over a three-year period, £3 million to UNICEF to build its capacity to implement programmes which will prevent children becoming involved in, or otherwise being affected by, conflict, and £3 million to the UN Secretary General's Special Representative for Children to support his work in reducing the impact of conflict on children, including the involvement of children in armed conflict. The work of these two institutions spans a wide range of countries in Africa, Asia and Europe.
We also encourage the ratification of important international instruments such as the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child covering the involvement of children in armed conflict.
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent discussions her Department has had with the Council of Europe to develop joint policies for the welfare and protection of children. 
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Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what financial assistance has been given by her Department to Sri Lanka in each of the last two years; for what projects; and where in Sri Lanka they were. 
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|Projects/description||Start date||End date||Region|
|Primary Education Planning Project|
|To strengthen capacity of the national and provincial authorities to plan, manage, monitor and evaluate primary education programmes within an agreed policy framework||October 1996||March 2001||Country wide|
|Primary English Language Project|
|To improve the quality of teaching of basic English Language skills in Sri Lankan primary schools||April 1996||August 2002||Country wide|
|Primary Mathematics Project|
|To improve the quality of teaching and learning of mathematics in primary schools in Sri Lanka||March 1998||March 2003||Country wide|
|Education Co-ordination Project|
|To ensure that DFID funding TC projects in the education sector in Sri Lanka are well co-ordinated with those funded by the World bank and other donors||March 1997||August 2003||Country wide|
|Relief and Reconciliation ProgrammeSCF/Oxfam|
|To help meet the basic survival and emerging rehabilitation needs of communities affected by the civil conflict||April 1997||March 2001||Refugee camps|
|Oxfam Support to Country Programme|
|To build on Oxfam's emerging competencies in conflict analysis and grass roots work to facilitate the practical application of tools for transforming community dynamics. To enable people affected by poverty and conflict are better able to cope with, challenge and overcome the barriers sustaining their condition||April 2001||March 2002||Country wide|
|SCF Support to Country Programme|
|To ensure that the voices of marginalised and vulnerable children are heard and acted upon, in policy and practise, for the best interest of these children, in education, social protection, inclusion and emergencies||April 2001||March 2002||Country wide|
|Mother and Child Reproductive Health Project for Displaced Persons|
|Provision of three static clinics which also provide mobile health services to the displaced population||October 1995||December 2003||Vavuniya, Puttalum, Horowpathana|
|Mother and Child Reproductive Health Care in Mannar|
|Increase access to and utilisation of reproductive health services (in co-ordination with Government services among the displaced population and host community in Mannar)||September 1998||June 2003||Mannar|
|Strengthening Prospects for Peace in Sri Lanka|
|To enhance the prospects for a sustainable negotiated settlement by strengthening the capacity of senior cross party parliamentarians and other significant actors to contribute to the peace process||August 2000||August 2003||Colombo|
|International Humanitarian LawA Peace Building Measure in Sri Lanka|
|To establish and support a respected group from within the international Buddhist community who will engage with senior Buddhist Clergy in Sri Lanka in International Humanitarian Law, trust-building, de-escalation and wider peace processes||November 2000||October 2001||Colombo|
|Environmental Management and Sustained Development in the Upper Mahaweli Catchment Area|
|To improve the operational capacity of the EFCD so that it more effectively serves the needs of its customers who are the major users of the land in the Upper Mahaweli Catchment Area||December 1995||September 2001||Mahaweli|
|Urban Poverty Reduction in Colombo Municipality|
|To reduce poverty in the city of Colombo by developing a participatory and sustainable institutional framework within the municipal structure that is close to the poor and where the community can be effectively organised for livelihood and environmental improvement||June 2000||October 2003||Colombo|
|Greater Colombo Sewerage Project|
|To provide background information relating to technical and policy issues required to enable a major World bank project to proceed||August 1997||February 2000||Colombo|
|Jaffna Power Rehabilitation|
|To restore power to the Jaffna area in a sustained manner||June 1996||November 2000||Jaffna|
|Ongoing humanitarian assistance and implementation of the ICRC mandate||January 1998||December 2001||Country wide|
|UNICEF Programme of Special Assistance for Children and Women Affected by Conflict|
|Promote the civil empowerment and participation among families and communities to build capacities for coping with the effects of the conflict and continue to strengthen child survival, protection and development to serve as a platform for reconciliation and conflict resolution||January 1998||June 2002||Refugee camps|
|Capacity Building on Community Based Organisations in Jaffna|
|To strengthen 20 CBOs to enable them to provide sustainable financial services in a post conflict situation||July 2000||June 2002|||
|Light Engineering in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh|
|To learn through action research about the cost effectiveness of the different approaches to increasing technological capability and capacity within the particular socioeconomic environments of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka||April 1998||March 2001||Kurunegala, Gampaha|
|Sri Lanka: Save The Children From Violence Campaign|
|To increase awareness at all levels of Sri Lankan society that armed conflict has an unacceptable impact on all Sri Lankan children||November 1999||March 2000||Country wide|
|UNHCR Displaced Persons|
|Facilitate Internally Displaced People to their place of origin or their resettlement in other designated locations in Sri Lanka||February 1998||December 2001||Kilinochi, Mullaitivu, Mannar, Vavuniya, Trincomalee, Jaffna|
|Vulnerable Groups in Conflict Areas (VOICE)|
|To increase the opportunities for all sectors of the conflict affected population to represent their needs and rights to the authorities||December 2000||March 2004||North and East|
|To increase the number and profitability of small scale food processing businesses in Sri Lanka and thereby stimulate rural employment, income levels, self sufficiency and entrepreneurial activities||March 2000||March 2004||Pudukudyirrapu, Meerakerny, Mangalagama, Okewela, Villachciya|
|Establishment of Continuum of Care for the Mentally Ill|
|To establish a residential rehabilitation institution/therapeutic community to prepare those who are recovering from mental illness for independent living in the community||April 1999||March 2002||Colombo|
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