some default text...
Previous Section Index Home Page


INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Environmental Appraisals

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when the last occasion was on which she requested an environmental appraisal before making a policy decision. [29014]

Clare Short: As answers to parliamentary questions 29013 and 29015 make clear, environmental appraisal is built in as part of the normal project or programme management cycle. Therefore environmental issues would routinely have been fully discussed before policy decisions are made.

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what plans her Department has to appraise the environmental implications of its Spending Review submission to the Treasury. [29016]

Clare Short: Our approach to the Spending Review and our Public Service Agreement is driven by our commitment to the millennium development goals. One of these goals is to ensure environmental sustainability. We therefore seek to integrate environmental considerations into all aspects of our policy and expenditure.

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many officials from her Department have attended the environmental appraisal and integration into policy training course run by the Civil Service College. [29017]

Clare Short: No one from the Department for International Development has attended the environmental appraisal and integration into policy training course run by the Civil Service College.

Over the past three years DFID has delivered its own environmental awareness training which has been delivered in both the UK and overseas offices to over 250 staff.

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what procedures her Department has to ensure environmental appraisals are undertaken prior to (a) administrative and (b) policy decisions being made. [29015]

Clare Short: It is a mandatory requirement that all policies, programmes and projects are subject to environmental screening at the concept note stage. Screening aims to ensure that environmental issues are taken into consideration at the earliest opportunity and to initiate, where appropriate, more comprehensive environmental appraisal and, if necessary, a full environmental impact assessment.

In 1999, DFID produced an environmental guide. It emphasises that environmental appraisal is concerned just as much with identifying environmental opportunities for improving development outcomes as it is with identifying environmental risks. It also stresses that environmental appraisal is applicable at policy and programme levels as well as at the project level. The guide complements the more detailed 1996 Manual of Environmental Appraisal.

21 Jan 2002 : Column 597W

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many environmental appraisals have been published by her Department since 1 January 2001; and if she will list the last four. [29013]

Clare Short: DFID's regular environmental appraisal procedures are described in response to PQ 2127. It is mandatory within DFID that policies, programmes and projects are subject to environmental screening at the concept stage, with further environmental appraisal to identify risks and opportunities being conducted as required. This work then becomes an integral part of the project documentation, which although not formally published, can be made available to the public on a case by case basis.

In situations where the environmental screening reveals the need for a formal environmental impact assessment (EIA), the assessment will be undertaken by consultants for the national government of the partner country, with funding and, if necessary, additional international technical assistance from DFID. Publication of the EIA is the responsibility of the partner Government, in accordance with their legislation.

Examples of formal EIAs since January 2001 include:


DFID development spending has increasingly focused upon resource transfers to sectoral and general budgets. There has therefore been a corresponding decrease in infrastructure work requiring a formal EIA.

In addition, as part of DFID's commitment to green housekeeping, environmental appraisals were undertaken for the relocation of the DFID London HQ; the consolidation of four DFID offices into one in Delhi, India; and environmental audit was voluntarily undertaken of the DFID Caribbean office; and the DFID Uganda office is to commence an audit in February 2002.

Foreign Aid

Mr. Horam: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much foreign aid was given by the UK Government to (a) Israel and (b) the Palestinians in the last three years. [27433]

Clare Short: The information is as follows:

(a) Israel is a prosperous country that does not need or require our development assistance.

(b) The people of the West Bank and Gaza and Palestinian refugees are suffering considerable poverty, and are in need of development assistance. We have disbursed through our bilateral programme to the West Bank and Gaza Strip £5.2 million, £8 million, and £9 million in the last three financial years. We have also contributed £3.4 million, £13 million, and £18.7 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees during the same period. In addition we contribute 5 per cent. of the World bank's resources

21 Jan 2002 : Column 598W

(about £13 million since 1994), and 17 per cent. of the European Commission's development budget (about £30 million in 2001) to the Palestinians.

Theft and Fraud

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what her estimate is of the cost of theft and fraud to (a) her Department, (b) its agencies and (c) non-departmental public bodies in each of the last four years. [27978]

Clare Short: The estimated cost to DFID's budget of theft and fraud in the period 1 April 1997 to 31 March 2001 is some £250,000 of which £175,000 can be attributed to contractor fraud. Of the remaining sum, £22,000 relates to the theft of assets which, in line with Treasury guidance, has been classified as involving departmental staff either directly or through collusion. Details of suspected or proven fraud are provided to the Treasury on an annual basis. The annual report that the Treasury prepares on fraud is deposited in the Libraries of both Houses.

Kenya

Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what investigations the World bank has undertaken to ensure that senior members of the Government of Kenya and their family members have not laundered money through (a) the City of London and (b) Switzerland. [29119]

Clare Short: It is not within the remit of the World bank to undertake such investigations.

Zimbabwe

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what proportion of the money committed for development assistance in Zimbabwe has already been spent. [28416]

Clare Short: DFID plans to provide up to £18 million in development assistance for the 2001–02 financial year. This figure has been fully committed. Over £10 million has already been spent.

Lost/Stolen Property

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will list those items valued at more than £50 which have been stolen or lost from her Department in each of the last four years. [28005]

Clare Short: Since 1 April 1997 the following items have been stolen or lost from DFID:


Sudan

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on her recent visit to the Sudan; and what recent

21 Jan 2002 : Column 599W

discussions she has had with the Sudanese authorities on the implementation of a strategy for peace in that country. [27342]

Clare Short: I visited Sudan from 6–11 January and discussed the possibility of taking forward the peace process with the full range of Sudanese political leaders, north and south. I concluded that the time was right for a major international effort to help the parties resolve Africa's most costly and longest running civil conflict. All whom I met expressed their strong commitment to progress on peace, agreed that there was a window of opportunity and expressed their willingness to engage in negotiations. But all doubted they would succeed, given the legacy of mistrust, without outside help, which they thought should include major UK input. I confirmed that we stood ready to play our part. I also emphasised the potential economic benefits for all, and UK readiness to engage in development if stability can be achieved.


Next Section Index Home Page