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Urban Slums

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent projects her Department has undertaken to reduce the number of people living in urban slums in developing countries. [63512]

Clare Short: Increasingly we are providing assistance to developing countries through Direct Budget Support to enable developing country Governments to take forward their own priorities under their Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) agreed with the international community. All PRSPs include a section on addressing urban poverty issues.

In addition in India, for example, we have supported the Government of Andhra Pradesh in their programme for urban services for the poor. This programme works at a policy level with the 32 class 1 municipalities in the state, and provides support to encourage investments in upgrading slum areas. This experience has also been taken into account with new work on urban poverty reduction in Kolkata (Calcutta) and in Kenya and Jamaica where DFID has supported work to help local organisation of the urban poor initiate improvements in the living conditions of the urban poor.

In addition, we are directly supporting the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) in their work to provide guidance and best practice advice to developing countries in reducing the numbers of people living in slum conditions and are working with the

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collaborative UN Urban Management Programme. The latter provides working examples of improved practice at the local government level.

We are also collaborating globally with 17 other partners, including all G7 members, in the Cities Alliance which has the overall objective of "Cities Without Slums". In practical terms, we have helped them develop the Community-led Infrastructure Finance Facility which will provide better access of local community groups to local bank funding of their own projects. This is seen as a long-term process for people to take command of their own improvements in living conditions.

Water Conservation

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent projects her Department has undertaken to support water conservation projects in developing countries. [63510]

Clare Short: The term water conservation may refer to increasing storage of water resources, greater efficiency in the use of water resources, or to the conservation of valuable aquatic ecosystems. DFID has supported a substantial number of activities seeking to address all of these. The number is too great to list here, but the projects and programmes set out give an illustration of the type of engagement DFID are undertaking:

DFID is also directly supporting developing countries in preparing and implementing comprehensive policies and strategies for integrated water resource management. To have these strategies in the process of implementation by 2005 is one of the internationally agreed targets to which DFID is committed.

DFID is also supporting a number of global initiatives that are promoting water conservation in all its interpretations. These include the Global Water Partnership, the International Hydrological Programme, the World Commission for Dams (and the subsequent Dams for Development Unit), Water for Food and Nature Dialogue and the International Programme for Technology and Research in Irrigation and Drainage.

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Monitoring of water conservation activities and consequences is also supported through agencies such as the World Water Assessment Programme and the Joint Monitoring Programme of WHO and Unicef, both of which DFID contribute to.

Agricultural Irrigation

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what her policy is on the subsidy of freshwater extraction for use in agricultural irrigation. [63511]

Clare Short: For all water uses, the Department for International Development is fully committed to the Dublin Principles (from the International Conference on Water and the Environment in Dublin in 1992) that (i) fresh water is a finite and vulnerable resource, essential to sustain life, development and the environment, and (ii) water has an economic value in all its competing uses and should be regarded as an economic good. DFID are also committed to Agenda 21 (which was prepared at the Earth summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992) which provides that water resources must be managed for sustainable food production and development.

Experience shows that management autonomy, adequate financial resources and tariffs that provide an acceptable return are all important for success improving efficiency in water use and in sustainable management of water resources.

DFID policy is that water users should pay the full economic cost of providing water, while at the same time ensuring that there is equity in access to water. Users should pay for the level of service provided, but with scope for subsidies to lower volume users.


ISAF (Afghanistan)

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what financial support will be given to Turkey in taking over the leadership of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement. [43007]

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what financial support the Turkish Government will receive in respect of their leadership of ISAF; what proportion of this cost will be borne by the UK Government; and which Government Department will bear the cost. [50052]

Mr. Hoon: The US Administration has submitted a request to Congress for a significant amount of funding for Turkey's leadership of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Approval is still awaited for this. Any questions on this subject should be directed to the US themselves. The United Kingdom will not be giving any financial assistance, but has agreed to leave in Afghanistan for use by ISAF some computer and communications equipment and a fire engine.

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what date the UK will relinquish the leadership of the International Security Assistance Force. [43529]

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Mr. Ingram: The United Kingdom formally relinquished the leadership of the International Security Assistance Force on 20 June 2002.

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what date has been set for the transfer of the leadership of ISAF from the UK to Turkey; how many UK forces will stay in Afghanistan after this transfer; and if he will make a statement. [62895]

Mr. Hoon: I refer the hon. Member to the statement on operations in Afghanistan that I made in the House on 20 June 2002, Official Report, columns 407–21.

Monthly Manning State

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place a copy of the latest Monthly Manning State in the Library; and if he will make it his policy to place each new edition in the Library immediately it is printed each month. [57636]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 20 May 2002]: I refer the hon. Member to Tri-Service Publication 1: UK Regular Forces Strengths and Changes and Tri-Service Publication 3: UK Armed Forces Strengths and Requirements. These are both available in the Library of the House and are updated on a monthly basis.

Departmental Expenditure Limit

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much and what proportion of the departmental expenditure limit for 2002–03 will be accounted for by staff costs; what the figures were for 2001–02; and if he will make a statement. [61021]

Mr. Ingram: In 2002–03 staff for service and civilian personnel costs are planned to be £9.777 billion. This is some 40 per cent. of the budgeted Departmental Expenditure Limit (DEL) of £24.597 billion provided for in the Main Supply Estimates (Cm 5510).

In 2001–02 the provisional outturn is £9.377 billion which represents some 38 per cent. of the DEL agreed at Spring Supplementary Estimates of £24.690 billion. In Main Estimates 2001–02 (Cm 5109) staff costs were planned to be £9.533 billion within a total of £23.770 billion, some 40 per cent.

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