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Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment she has made of the proposals to increase health aid budgets contained in the World Health Organisation's report by the Commission on Macroeconomics and Health, published on 20 December; and what role her Department has played in the report's distribution in the United Kingdom and in British overseas territories and embassies. 
Clare Short: We welcome the broad messages of the Commission for Macroeconomics (CMH) report. It has provided clear evidence that investing in health is far more important for economic development and wider poverty reduction than was previously understood, and we embrace the call for extra resources from both donors and developing countries.
I hosted the worldwide launch of the CMH report at the Department for International Development headquarters in December. Later this month I shall be opening a conference (organised and part funded by my Department) to disseminate the messages of the report to the global audience and plan how to take these findings forward.
Clare Short: Latest forecasts from the World Bank suggest that globally, meeting the 2015 target of halving the proportion of people living in extreme poverty is attainable. There has been progress. During the 1990s, the proportion of people living on less than $1 a day in the developing world fell from 29 per cent. in 1990, to 23 per cent. in 1999. This was mainly due to the substantial progress made during the 1990s in east Asia, and in particular China.
In the developing world, progress has also been made during the 1990s against almost all the other 2015 Millennium Development targets. The proportion of children completing a full course of primary school
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increased from 68 per cent. to 73 per cent.; the under-five mortality rate decreased from 88 to 84 deaths per 1,000 births; and the proportion of people with access to an improved water source increased from 73 per cent. to 79 per cent.
However, to meet all of the 2015 targets progress must be improved. The sub-Saharan African region presents the biggest challenge to meeting the 2015 targets. We need an enormous effort internationally to accelerate progress in Africa. My Department is dedicated to do all in its power to accelerate progress towards the targets.
A detailed description of progress towards all the 2015 targets is contained in a recent World bank publication: World Development Indicators 2002, which can be found at the following website: http://www.worldbank.org/ata/ wdi2002/worldview.pdf.
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent discussions she has had with the representatives of the island of St. Helena on assisting with financial provision for providing an airport on St. Helena. 
Clare Short: A St. Helena Government team visited the UK in February 2002 to take forward discussions on air access for the island with my officials. The team reported on these discussions to the St. Helena Government at the beginning of April. Further discussions on the issue of air access will take place over the coming months.
Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) what role her Department will play in deciding whether tax relief on donations of medical supplies and equipment to developing countries announced in the Budget is supportive of recipient countries health strategies; 
Clare Short: My Department has been working closely with HM Treasury, Inland Revenue and other Departments on a range of measures to improve access to medicines for the developing world, including tax relief on donations of medical supplies.
The tax measure is intended to be supportive of health strategies in developing countries. The Inland Revenue will be issuing guidance to its tax inspectors on interpreting what constitutes a donation for "humanitarian purposes". The Inland Revenue guidance will include appropriate reference to elements of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Guidelines.
The WHO guidelines clearly set out that drug donations should: constitute a sustainable contribution to government health strategies in developing countries; be based on need and relevant to the disease pattern of recipient countries; have at least one year remaining shelf
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According to research by the International Committee of the Red Cross(ICRC) food, clothing and shelter are the priority needs for internally displaced people(IDPs) and vulnerable persons in Chechnya. Water supply, reconstruction and education are also seen as important areas of need.
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We continue to work with UN agencies and international NGOs to improve assessment of humanitarian needs and evaluation of impact. This includes funding through the UN Office of the Security Co-ordinator (UNSECOORD) and the Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA) (including part funding of a senior humanitarian specialist) in support of strengthened co-ordination and security for humanitarian agencies working in the North Caucasus, including Chechnya.
Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many (a) investments were held and (b) new investments were made by the CDC in (i) South Asia, (ii) Sub-Saharan Africa, (iii) countries defined by the CDC as poorer and (iv) in total in (A) 1998, (B) 1999, (C) 2000 and (D) 2001, broken down by country. 
|(a) Number of investments held|
|Other South Asia||y||1||1||3||3|
|Total South Asia||||85||75||71||71|
|Esca Regional Fund (South Africa)||y||1||1||1||1|
|Total Sub-Saharan Africa||||177||176||149||136|
|British Virgin Islands||n||1||2||4||4|
|Trinidad and Tobago||n||3||2||1||1|
|Papua New Guinea||y||12||11||11||9|
|(b) Number of new investments|
|Other South Asia||y||1||0||0||0|
|Total South Asia||||10||4||7||8|
|Esca Regional Fund (South Africa)||y||1||0||0||0|
|Total Sub-Saharan Africa||||51||43||32||31|
|Papua New Guinea||y||3||2||2||2|
|British Virgin Islands||n||0||1||4||2|
Numbers of individual investments do not reflect benefits to poorer developing countries overall.
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