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Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assistance her Department is providing to the peace process in Angola following the death of Jonas Savimbi. [44892]

Clare Short: Since the death of Jonas Savimbi we have made a contribution of #200,000 to help expand the services of Radio Ecclesia beyond Luanda to the Angolan provinces. Radio Ecclesia is the only fully independent radio broadcaster in Angola able to operate nationwide. It is well known as a key source of objective news reporting and political analysis within Angola, essential to the building of a lasting peace settlement. I plan to visit Angola next week to discuss with the Government the opportunities to achieve peace in Angola and the wider region. I had a very useful preliminary meeting with the Angolan Foreign Minister on these issues last week.

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assistance her Department is providing to the peace process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and if she will make a statement on the talks taking place in South Africa. [44891]

Clare Short: To date DFID has provided #525,000 in support of the direct costs of the Inter-Congolese Dialogue. This is supplemented by a contribution of #650,000 to the Radio Okapi project which is disseminating information on the peace process to the Congolese people, and #160,000 to assist peace and reconciliation in the Kivus. We continue to press all signatories to the Lusaka Peace Agreement to honour their commitments and work constructively towards a full peace settlement in the region. It is paramount that the delegates currently engaged in the Sun City talks avoid further prevarication and commit themselves to the critical task of reaching agreement on arrangements for a transitional government and timetable for free

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elections. Much time has already been lost in the Dialogue and it is crucial that real progress is now seen, for the sake of all of the people of the region.


Mr. Ivan Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much aid the Government have sent to Rwanda from 1997 to 2001; and what plans the Government have to send aid in the future. [45112]

Clare Short: Between 1997 to 2001 the UK provided #89 million in development assistance to Rwanda. In 1999 the UK made a 10-year commitment with the Government of Rwanda to help their post-conflict recovery and enable them to meet the International Development Targets. We have provided around #30 million in development assistance this financial year and expect our support to continue at least at this level over the next few years.

Gaza Strip

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on the results of the midwifery training project funded by her Department to improve standards of midwifery in the Gaza Strip; and how many midwives it has trained. [43872]

Clare Short: The Gaza Midwifery project was established in 1999 to improve safe motherhood by developing the capacity of the midwifery profession in Gaza. The project will have trained 27 midwives by June 2002, and plans to train a total of 89 by June 2004. The current crisis has adversely affected the implementation of training, but enrolment and graduate numbers remain over 80 per cent. of that originally envisaged.


Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry regarding Amec's application to the Export Credits Guarantee Department to cover its work in Turkey. [44200]

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Clare Short: I have not had any involvement in this case. My department worked closely with ECGD to agree a new set of business principles, including the incorporation of sustainable development criteria. My department is involved in the productive expenditure screening process for applications relating to those countries receiving International Development Association (IDA) funding. We do not get involved in individual export credit applications in non-IDA countries such as Turkey.

Occupied Territories

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the results have been of her Department's funded water and sanitation projects in (a) Jabalia and (b) Anabta in improving water supplies to the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. [43875]

Clare Short: The project in Jabalia has led to improvements in both the quality and quantity of water for household consumption. Sanitary standards have also increased as the majority of households are now connected to a new sewage network. To ensure these gains are sustained a programme of hygiene and sanitary education is being implemented.

The quality of the water network in Anabta has improved by 90 per cent. At least 75 per cent. of households are connected to the new sewage network. However, the current crisis is affecting the implementation of the project with equipment embargoed by the Israeli Port Authorities, and access for project staff becoming increasingly difficult.

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what effect the aid given to the Palestinian Authority's Minister for Education by her Department has had on her Department's capacity to manage (a) planning of teacher training, (b) school development and (c) the teaching of English in that region. [43874]

Clare Short: The Palestinian Authority is responsible for planning teacher training, school development and teaching English. Between 1995–2000 we have provided technical assistance in these areas. Nearly all schools in the Palestinian Authority have benefited in some way from this.

The work of United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) includes an education programme for Palestinian refugees. The UK supports UNRWA's work, providing #25 million in 2001.

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what plans she has to address unemployment in the occupied territories. [43873]

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Clare Short: We are supporting the World Bank's Employment Generation and NGO Capacity Building Programmes, both of which are designed to tackle rising unemployment in the Palestinian Territories. We have also contributed to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency's (UNRWA) Emergency Appeal, which includes employment creation schemes for Palestinian refugees.

Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers

Ms Drown: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will amend poverty reduction strategy papers—PRSPs—so that at decision point there is scope for greater financial flexibility to take into account changing factors and amendments to the plan can be made before completion point. [45191]

Clare Short: Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) are country-owned documents produced by Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC), setting out how they intend to use the resources available to them—including from debt relief—to tackle poverty more effectively. We place great importance on this process, which involves consultation with civil society and the international donor community.

Under the HIPC Debt Initiative, countries receive interim debt relief once they reach Decision Point, at which stage they are required to produce an interim PRSP—a road map setting out what action needs to be taken to produce a full PRSP by Completion Point. Clearly, their circumstances may have changed by the time they reach Completion Point when the relief becomes irrevocable. The UK has worked to encourage agreement that the debt sustainability of countries will be reviewed at Completion Point, and that additional relief will be provided, in exceptional cases, where there has been fundamental changes in a country's circumstances due to external adverse factors.

Ms Drown: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what action she is taking to address the difference between the growth rate built into Malawi's PRSP and its actual growth rate. [45190]

Clare Short: We and other donors are advising the Malawi Government on the necessary conditions for higher growth. Prerequisites are restoration of macroeconomic stability, and improved economic and financial management. The Government has recently declared its intention to proceed with key reform measures. If successful, these should lead to higher private sector led growth.

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