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Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how long trial records are kept for those charged with terrorist acts; what difference there is between the records kept for those found (a) guilty and (b) not guilty; and what the time limits are for keeping records for trials of (i) terrorists in Northern Ireland and (ii) other criminal trials. 
All records in relation to Crown court hearings in Northern Ireland are preserved permanently, as is the case for such records in England and Wales. Records in relation to magistrates courts in Northern Ireland are normally destroyed after 15 years, with the exception of records containing entries for a census year which are retained permanently. Retention schedules for records of magistrates courts in England and Wales are different.
Clare Short: As I announced at the Conference on the Reconstruction of Afghanistan earlier this week in Tokyo, the UK has committed a further £200 million over the next five financial years for both reconstruction and humanitarian assistance.
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The European Commission (EC) has pledged euro 200 million (£125 million) for 2002. It intends to propose to the European Union's budgetary authority to provide assistance at a comparable level in the subsequent four years, totalling approximately euro 1 billion (£600 million) over the period 200206. The UK share of EC contributions is 20 per cent.which is charged to the DFID budget.
Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will report on the outcome of the Afghanistan Reconstruction Conference held in Tokyo on January 21 and 22, with particular reference to meeting the needs of Afghan women. 
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what contributions the United Kingdom (a) has made and (b) has committed itself to make to the costs of creating and supporting the interim Government of Afghanistan (i) bilaterally and (ii) through agencies of the (A) United Nations and (B) European Union. 
Clare Short: We have set aside £20 million in this financial year to support the Interim Administration and the United Nations-led transitional recovery and rehabilitation process, while continuing to respond to humanitarian needs. This further support follows on from the £40 million of emergency humanitarian relief assistance that we have already provided to UN agencies, the Red Cross and NGOs since September 2001.
Our support to date has included £1 million to the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary- General to support peacemaking efforts and the establishment of the Afghan Interim Administration. We have also contributed $3 million (£2.075 million) to support the costs of the Interim Administration, including civil servants' salaries, through the UNDP-administered trust fund.
As I announced at the Conference on the Reconstruction of Afghanistan earlier this week in Tokyo, the UK has committed a further £200 million ($288 million) over the next five financial years for both reconstruction and humanitarian assistance.
This pledge is in addition to the significant sums that the UK contributes to the World Bank, European Union and Asian Development bank who will also be channelling funds into Afghanistan over coming years. The European Commission has pledged £125 million for 2002, of which the UK share, which is charged to DFID's budget, is 20 per cent.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what her estimate is of the expenditure of her Department on newspapers, magazines and periodicals in each of the last four years. 
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The decline in expenditure on newspapers in 200001 reflects the decentralisation of non-core provision to Departments and country offices. The rise in expenditure on periodicals in the same year reflects the electronic provision of certain periodicals, which are now more easily available to a larger proportion of DFID's UK- based and overseas staff.
Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent representations she has received on replacing World Bank loans to the world's poorest countries with grants. 
Clare Short: The US Administration are advocating that the World Bank arm that provides assistance to low-income countries should cease to focus on 40-year highly concessional loans and instead provide at least 50 per cent. grant. This proposal is opposed by all other countries. It would severely deplete the resources available to IDA and undermine the Poverty Reduction Strategy Process, which has led to greatly improved effectiveness in development partnerships in recent years. I have not received any direct representations in support of this proposal, but the issue has been discussed in many forums. The Government of the United States of America have made representations at official level. The UKalong with many other countries that contribute resources to IDAbelieves that we should protect and enhance IDA's existing role as the largest provider of concessional finance to the world's poorest countries and that grant should be provided by bi-lateral donors in a way which complements IDA lending.
Clare Short: In the 41 heavily indebted poor countries, the heavy burden of servicing debt reduces the resources available for tackling poverty and offsets the benefits of development assistance. There is in these countries a strong link between debt relief and poverty reduction. Following debt relief, the social expenditures of HIPC countries are projected to rise by an average of some $1.7 billion per year. On average, a quarter of this increased social expenditure will go towards health schemes directed at HIV/AIDS and diseases like malaria and tuberculosis, with 40 per cent. being directed towards education. HIPC countries will spend on average much more on such priority social investments than on debt service. This will directly benefit the poor in those countries.
However, while debt relief for the HIPC countries is a necessary condition for poverty reduction, it is not enough. Huge numbers of poor people live in countries which are not heavily indebted, particularly in south Asia. It is vital that their needs are not neglected as a result of
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our efforts to help the HIPC countries. In addition to debt relief, many other factors are important for reducing poverty. These include the Governments' own policies, the levels of development assistance they receive and their ability to attract foreign direct investment, to capture the benefits of trade and to create an environment where the domestic private sector can flourish. The UK is working to address all of these at the international level and through our partnerships with developing countries.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions she has had with the Foreign Office concerning the recent volcanic eruption in Goma; and what steps her Department is taking to ensure a co-ordinated approach with the Foreign Office on the provision of aid to those affected by the disaster. 
Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer from the inception of the working families tax credit to date, what the average number of working days for the processing of applications for working families tax credit from families in the Perth constituency has been; and what the UK average is. 
Dawn Primarolo: The figures requested are not available for individual constituencies, or as an average for the period since working families tax credit began in 1999. For the 12 months ending 31 December 2001, the average number of days taken to process a working families tax credit application in Great Britain was 14.5.
Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many applications for working families tax credit from families in the Perth constituency in the last 12 months have not been dealt with within the average number of working days for the processing of applications from families in Perth constituency. 
Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what has been the average sum paid out by way of compensation to applicants for working families tax credit in the Perth constituency in the last year for which figures are available; 
Dawn Primarolo: The Inland Revenue Code of Practice allows for certain exceptional payments to be made to working families tax credit (WFTC) applicants to recognise the effects of unreasonable delays in paying
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their tax credit entitlement. Figures are not available for such payments broken down by individual constituency. However, available records show that, since WFTC began in October 1999 to date, no such payments have been made to any WFTC applicants in Perthshire.
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