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7. Mr. Viggers: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on the outcome of the G8 summit in Canada as it relates to trade with developing countries. 
Clare Short: The G8 leaders are meeting in Kananaskis today and tomorrow so it is too early to be able to comment on the outcome of discussion of the G8 Action Plan for Africa. The UK is putting forward specific proposals in the key areas of conflict, education, health, development assistance, debt and trade.
Clare Short: The G8 Summit is addressing a number of issues of vital significance to developing countries. These include: conflict reduction; trade; debt relief; universal primary education; health, including affordable essential medicines; the effectiveness of development assistance; and support for Afghanistan. A G8 Action Plan for Africa is being drawn up, with the aim of responding to African countries' own efforts to pursue policies aimed at the elimination of poverty and reverse the economic marginalisation of their continent.
International aid in support of these initiatives should be available from the additional money promised by G8 countries, and the European Union, at the International Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey last March. But G8 action in support of poverty elimination requires more than just additional aid. Significant progress also needs to be made in areas such as free-trade access and the reduction of G8 countries' agricultural subsidies. It is essential that G8 countries meet all the commitments they made at Monterrey.
Clare Short: We do not have a bilateral aid programme to Cuba, we provide small scale support. The Scheme is appreciated by the Cuban authorities and has recently supported financial management training, export promotion environmental management and organic agriculture. Our share of the EC development programme is $2.6 million per annum which is drawn from the Department for International Development budget.
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Clare Short: This year, we plan to provide £16 million to Ukraine, of which half will be through our direct programme and half as our contribution to multilateral agencies, particularly the European Commission Tacis programme. In Belarus, where our programme is limited due to poor government, we expect to provide £0.8 million mostly as our share of the EC Tacis programmes.
Clare Short: The causes of food shortages in Southern Africa this year are drought and misgovernment. In Zimbabwe, which accounts for over half of the region's food aid requirements, economic mismanagement and grossly misorganised land reform have massively exacerbated the effects of the drought.
The World Food Programme will next week launch a regional appeal for food for Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Lesotho and Swaziland. They estimate that four million tons of cereal imports will be needed. 2.8 million to be provided by private sector and government imports, and 1.2 million tons through food aid will be distributed free.
13. Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much food aid her Department has earmarked for the World Food Programme to be distributed in southern Africa from the year beginning September 2002. 
Clare Short: We have allocated £18.75 million in response to the World Food Programme regional appeal for six countries in southern Africa for immediate food purchases. This is part of an overall allocation of £45 million through international organisations and NGOs for food and inputs for the next planting season. We will review our commitment as the relief programme proceeds.
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11. Mr. Plaskitt: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how her Department is working with the EU to reduce delays in delivering debt relief due under the HIPC initiative to poor countries. 
Clare Short: In 1999, the UK helped to secure, through the European Union, a pledge of 1 billion euros towards debt relief for the heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC), from the European Development Fund (EDF). This was to be provided in the form of 680 million euros for the HIPC trust fund and 320 million euros in debt relief for the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries' debts owed to the European Investment Bank (EIB). To date 650 million euros have been spent, with a further 300 million euros planned for disbursement this year.
17. David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how her Department will ensure that poor countries which do not qualify for the opportunity of HIPC debt relief achieve sustainable debt funding. 
Clare Short: Countries that are not eligible for debt relief under the heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC) initiative can still achieve sustainable debt levels through the traditional debt relief mechanisms available. This includes a stock-of-debt operation under Naples terms (up to 67 per cent. cancellation of debt) by the Paris Club and comparable treatment by non-Paris Club official bilateral and commercial creditors. To qualify for HIPC relief, a country must be judged to have an unsustainable debt after the full application of traditional debt relief measures, and to have met the other HIPC requirements. It is therefore possible for countries, as in the case of the Comoros, the Gambia and Malawi, to be added to the list of HIPC countries, depending on their circumstances.
Ms Munn: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how her Department is working with the European Union to reduce delays in delivering debt relief due under the HIPC Initiative to poor countries. 
Clare Short: In 1999, the UK helped to secure, through the European Union, a pledge of 1 billion euros towards debt relief for the heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC), from the European development fund (EDF). This was to be provided in the form of 680 million euros for the HIPC trust fund and 320 million euros in debt relief for the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries' debts owed to the European Investment bank (EIB). To date 650 million euros have been spent, with a further 300 million euros planned for disbursement this year.
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12. Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps she is taking to ensure that development funding for the Palestinian Authority is not used to support terrorism. 
Clare Short: Our bilateral development programme in the west bank and Gaza Strip is largely technical assistance, funded through, and managed by, a range of local and international organisations on behalf of Palestinian beneficiaries. Commissioner Patten has stressed that the Commission has investigated Israeli claims about European Commission (EC) support and found no evidence to corroborate the allegations that EC funds have been misused to finance terrorist activities; or for anything other than their original purpose. The EC attach strict conditionality to the budgetary assistance provided to the Palestinian Authority (PA). The conditions mainly reinforce the need for transparency of the PA's public finances, strengthening the prudent management of the budget, and encouraging progress on overall financial and administrative reform. We are satisfied that the EC, with the assistance of the IMF, is ensuring the conditions are met.
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