some default text...
Previous Section Index Home Page


Iraq

Harry Cohen: To ask the Prime Minister what Her Majesty's Government's requirements are of Iraq to avert the threat of military action. [49809]

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answers I gave to hon. Members at Prime Minister's Questions, and to the statement I gave to the House on Wednesday 10th April.

Harry Cohen: To ask the Prime Minister what Her Majesty's Government's requirements are of Iraq for the lifting of economic sanctions. [49810]

The Prime Minister: The international community's requirements for lifting sanctions on Iraq is clearly laid out in UNSCR 687 (a copy of which can be found at www.un.org/Departments/unmovic/documents/docslist.htm).

Free Travel and Accommodation

Mr. Collins: To ask the Prime Minister on how many occasions since 1997 he has accepted free travel and accommodation from overseas Governments. [48783]

17 Apr 2002 : Column 984W

The Prime Minister [holding answer 15 April 2002]: It has been the policy of successive Governments to provide hospitality for official visits by Foreign Heads of State who come as guests of Her Majesty's Government.

It has also been the policy of successive administrations that when Prime Ministers and Ministers make official visits abroad some accommodation and travel arrangements may be provided for by foreign Governments. Wherever costs to HMG occur they are laid out in the lists of overseas visits undertaken by Cabinet Ministers. These were placed in the Library of the House and published in the Official Report on 17 June 1999, columns 196–97W; on 28 July 2000, column 969W; and on 20 July 2001, column 467W.

All travel is undertaken fully in accordance with the rules set out in the "Ministerial Code" and "Travel by Ministers", copies of which are available in the Libraries of the House.

With regard to my private visits all occasions have been registered in the Register of Members Interests.

INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Ethiopia

6. Vera Baird: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what link the Government make between UK aid to Ethiopia and improved implementation of rights for women there. [46045]

Clare Short: We are developing a partnership with Ethiopia to help reduce the very high levels of poverty there. It is impossible to reduce poverty without empowering women and educating girls. Because, as Kofi Annan said, poverty has a woman's face and 70 per cent. of the poor of the world are female.

Uganda

7. Mr. Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement about progress in reducing international debt in Uganda. [46046]

Hilary Benn: Uganda became the first country to benefit under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative, receiving $347 million dollars worth of debt relief in April 1998. Under the enhanced HIPC framework agreed in 1999, Uganda received additional debt relief of $656 million dollars when it reached its second Completion Point in May 2000, bringing its total HIPC relief to $1 billion dollars in net present value terms.

Zimbabwe

8. Mr. Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on her Department's future aid projects in Zimbabwe. [46047]

Clare Short: The people of Zimbabwe face a bleak future under President Mugabe's policies. We are working with the international community to urge policy changes in order to halt the catastrophic decline in agriculture, the economy, and social services. We are also providing

17 Apr 2002 : Column 985W

humanitarian assistance through the UN and non- governmental channels, and helping to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic that affects one in three adults.

17. Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on the humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe. [46056]

Clare Short: The humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe is likely to worsen later this-year. The maize harvest in April and May is forecast to meet only 30 per cent. of national needs and the Zimbabwe Government has no credible plan to source food for its people. Drought has compounded the already serious problems caused by mismanagement of the economy, farming, and food markets. The UK is one of many urging policy changes on the part of the Zimbabwe Government, while providing emergency assistance through international and non- governmental channels.

Tanzania

9. Mr. Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on aid to Tanzania. [46048]

Clare Short: We work with the Government of Tanzania to promote growth and reduce poverty. Britain is one of Tanzania's major development partners. Our bilateral assistance programme stands at £80 million for 2002–03. This goes towards strengthening economic and political governance, improving public services including health and education, and helping to provide key infrastructure such as water and roads in rural areas.

12. Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make statement on her policy on aid to Tanzania. [46051]

Clare Short: DFID works with the Government of Tanzania to promote growth and reduce poverty. Britain is one of Tanzania's major development partners. Our bilateral assistance programme stands at £80 million for 2002–03. This goes towards strengthening economic and political governance, improving public services including health and education, and helping to provide key infrastructure such as water and roads in rural areas.

Afghanistan

10. Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what progress has been made on the implementation of the Bonn agreement with respect to women's human rights. [46049]

Clare Short: The inauguration of the Afghan Interim Authority laid the foundations for progress on realising women's rights in Afghanistan. This includes the formation of a Ministry for Women and the announcement of the procedures for the Emergency Loya Jirga in June 2002, which will include 11 per cent. women.

13. Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much aid has been given to Afghanistan by the Government since the conflict began. [46052]

Clare Short: My Department has committed over £60 million since September 2001 to support both the Afghan Interim Authority and the United Nations-led humanitarian and recovery effort. This assistance is being

17 Apr 2002 : Column 986W

channelled through United Nations agencies, the Red Cross movement and non-Governmental organisations. In addition, at the Tokyo Conference on the Reconstruction of Afghanistan, we pledged £200 million from the DFID budget over the next five years for both reconstruction and humanitarian assistance.

14. Valerie Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what progress is being made to ensure that humanitarian aid is reaching those in greatest need in Afghanistan. [46053]

Clare Short: Despite three years of drought and 23 years of conflict, and the recent insecurity and population displacement, widespread famine in Afghanistan has been averted by the early and effective actions of the humanitarian community. Over 6.6 million people have been provided with food aid over the past six months, as well as other essential relief supplies such as tents, clothing and cooking equipment. Pockets of need remain in isolated or insecure areas, but agencies are using every means available to deliver assistance to those in need.

Mr. MacDougall: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment she has made of the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan. [46060]

Clare Short: The humanitarian situation remains fragile in Afghanistan. After 23 years of conflict and three years of drought, as well as continued limited access to some areas of Afghanistan, our assessment is that significant needs will remain for at least the coming year in challenging and volatile operating conditions. The latest assessment by the United Nations and the Afghan Interim Administration estimates that approximately 9 million Afghans, including over 1 million internally displaced persons (IDPs), will be in need of assistance in Afghanistan in 2002.

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions she has had with the multilateral institutions regarding the development of a PRSP for Afghanistan. [48794]

Clare Short: My Department is in contact with the multilateral institutions about Afghanistan's reconstruction, and is also providing support to the Afghan Assistance Coordination Authority, which developed the recently announced National Development Framework, to develop its capacity to manage the process of reconstruction. There are no immediate plans for the development of a PRSP for Afghanistan. However, the design and implementation of a National Development Framework could pave the way for a PRSP in due course.

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) how much of the money committed to the reconstruction of Afghanistan over the next two years at Tokyo will be invested in the long- term funding of a civilian police force and judicial system; [48762]

17 Apr 2002 : Column 987W

Clare Short: The UK is closely engaged with the Afghan Interim Authority (AIA) and international partners to develop an integrated framework for security sector reform encompassing the police, military and judicial systems. This includes discussions with Germany, who are acting as the national lead on police training programmes in Afghanistan. We have so far allocated £7 million to the Afghan Reconstruction Trust Fund, which will be used to fund recurrent costs of the AIA's budget, including the civil police force, judicial system and the re-integration of combatants into society.

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much of the money committed to the reconstruction of Afghanistan over the next two years in Tokyo has been contributed to UN agencies working on the ground in Afghanistan, broken down by (a) agency and (b) amount. [48760]

Clare Short: At the Tokyo conference on the reconstruction of Afghanistan in January 2002, my Department committed £200 million over the next five years (from 1 April 2002) towards the country's reconstruction and humanitarian needs. The specific allocation of these resources is currently being finalised.

Since September 2001, we have contributed over £40 million to UN agencies working in Afghanistan. We intend to continue to contribute to humanitarian and recovery programmes implemented by UN agencies, as well as channelling funds through the new World Bank-run Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund, to which we are making an initial contribution of £7 million this financial year.


Next Section Index Home Page