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Public Inquiries

Mr. Randall: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what her policy is on using 0870 telephone numbers for inquiries by the public to the Department and its agencies. [66193]

Clare Short: The Department for International Development does not have a general policy on the use of 0870 telephone numbers for inquiries by the public. Instead, and in line with promoting the widest possible access to its Public Enquiry Point, DFID provides an 0845 number for UK callers.

The cost range for callers using the 0845 number is 3.95p (peak) to 1p (weekends), compared with 7.91p (peak) to 2p (weekends) for an 0870 number.

GATS Talks

Phil Sawford: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what her priorities are in respect of the forthcoming GATS talks. [66559]

Clare Short: The current negotiations on the GATS offer developing countries the potential to gain access to new markets overseas and to benefit from more efficient and competitive services at home. One of my key priorities for the GATS talks is to ensure that developing countries are able to participate fully in the negotiations. To this end, my Department is working with the UN Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on a £350,000 project to strengthen developing country involvement in the services negotiations in Geneva. We are also working with other donors and international organisations to find the best way of providing technical assistance to developing countries to carry out an impact assessment of the requests made of them.

More generally, my officials are working closely with the Department for Trade and Industry (DTI) and other Government Departments to ensure that UK and EC policy on trade in services takes development considerations into account. In the recently agreed EC requests of other WTO Members, for example, requests to least developed countries have been mainly limited to 3–5 sectors, with a focus on sectors where liberalisation is most likely to contribute to development. The requests also make clear that the EC recognises the importance of liberalisation being underpinned by domestic regulatory frameworks designed to ensure the achievement of public policy objectives.


Ms Oona King: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on the policy of the World bank and IMF towards Burundi. [66325]

Clare Short: The IMF have been in regular dialogue with the Government of Burundi in recent months and will be undertaking a further mission to Burundi in July to progress negotiations on an emergency post-conflict facility, which we hope will be in place this autumn. The World Bank's Transitional Support Strategy for Burundi

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was agreed in March, involving support for demobilisation and reintegration, HIV/AIDS prevention and agricultural development, and a further Economic Rehabilitation Credit is under preparation. We remain in close touch with both institutions about their plans.

Great Lakes Region

Ms Oona King: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what level of development aid her Department has made available to (a) Burundi and (b) other countries in the Great Lakes Region in the last five years. [66324]

Clare Short: Over the past five years, my Department made the following levels of development aid available to Burundi, and other countries in the Great Lakes region:

£ million

BurundiDem. Rep. CongoRwandaUganda

(19) These figures are provisional. Final disbursement figures will be available in November when the 2002 edition of DFID's 'Statistics on International Development' will be published.

Green Ministers

Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development who her Department's Green Minister is; when they (a) have attended and (b) plan to attend meetings of the Green Ministers Committee; what the outcomes of meetings were for her Department's activities; and if she will make a statement. [65984]

Clare Short: Our Green Minister is Sally Keeble MP. She was appointed to the ENV (G) Committee on 29 May.

Following the general election in June 2001, the previously informal Green Ministers Committee was upgraded to a Cabinet Sub-Committee of ENV and it is established practice under exemption two of Part II of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information not to disclose information relating to the proceedings of Cabinet Committees. Therefore I cannot relate progress or outcomes by my Department to anything that has been discussed.


Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what proportion of (a) paper and (b) other goods purchased by her Department was recycled paper in each year since 1997; what the annual total cost of these purchases was; what plans there are to increase these proportions; and if he will make a statement. [65766]

Clare Short: The following table shows my Department's costs for paper and paper products since 1997. The recycled element of the figures up to last year are for recycled paper only; other recycled products were obtained but were not separately recorded or identified. since May of this year, 98 per cent. of paper used by my London office is recycled and therefore this proportion

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will now increase significantly. Other recycled paper products, particularly envelopes where available, will be purchased in future. Further trials of recycled paper are currently being carried out in our East Kilbride office.


Cost of paper and paper products
199757,658 of which 199 was recycled paper only
199862,790 of which 235 was recycled paper only
199948,249 of which 99 was recycled paper only
200093,439 of which 2,179 was recycled paper only
200167,447 of which 1,289 was recycled paper only
200228,327 of which 2,527 was recycled paper only

Health Care Reform Programmes

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what financial support her Department is giving to health care reform programmes in 2002–03 in (a) Tanzania, (b) Zambia, (c) Ghana and (d) Bangladesh. [65757]

Clare Short: In Tanzania we plan to disburse up to £11.8 million to the health sector development programme during 2002–03 to support health sector reforms.

A further £4.76 million will be spent on technical assistance projects to support improved approaches to managing malaria, increasing access to and quality of reproductive health care, and better evidence based planning for public health services.

Commission on Macroeconomics and Health

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much money was provided by her Department in 2001–02 to the Commission on Macroeconomics and Health. [65755]

Clare Short: My Department provided £693,073 in 2001–02 to support the Commission on Macroeconomics and Health.

Overseas Financial Aid

John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what action her Department is taking to ensure that overseas financial aid is used for development purposes. [65735]

Clare Short: My Department continuously reviews and assesses mechanisms for the delivery of, and accounting for, UK development funds in order to minimise the risks of misuse.

Financial aid to developing countries through direct Budget support is provided after a thorough evaluation of public financial management and accountability systems against specific benchmarks, and risks have been assessed in a systematic way.

DFID set out the arrangements in detail in a guidance note for staff in March 2002, "Managing Fiduciary Risk When Providing Direct Budget Support". A copy is being placed in the Library.

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John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what evidence her Department has collated over the last 12 months that overseas financial aid has not been used for development purposes. [65731]

Clare Short: My Department has no such evidence.

EU Aid

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) if she will make a statement on the outcome of the EU summit in Seville with respect to aid; [65190]

Clare Short: The conclusions of the European Council meeting in Seville (20–21 June) dealt with three issues relevant to international development.

First, as part of the EU's continuing preparations for enlargement, it was agreed that the work of the Development Council should be merged into a new General Affairs and External Relations Council which will also deal with foreign policy, military and security policy, foreign trade and humanitarian aid. The Government will be discussing working arrangements for this new Council over the next few weeks in order to ensure effective handling of the European Community's development programmes.

Second, in their discussions of asylum and immigration, Heads of State and Government agreed that closer economic cooperation, trade expansion, development assistance and conflict prevention were all means of promoting prosperity and reducing the underlying causes of migration flows. It was also agreed that, in dealing with countries that do no cooperate in combating illegal immigration, measures taken by the European Union should not jeopardise EU development objectives.

Third, Heads of State also endorsed the EU position for the World summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg and stressed the Union's willingness to continue playing a leading role in the preparation of the summit.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much EU aid will be used to support poor countries' efforts to comply with the EU's asylum policy in each of the next three years. [65194]

Clare Short: There has been no change in the objectives of the EC's development programmes. A separate budget line was established in 2001 to fund migration-related activities in third countries. Euro 10 million was committed through that budget in 2001 and Euro 22.8 million was provided for 2002. This budget is not used in pursuit of the EC's development policy. The amount available for this budget is decided on an annual basis and figures for the next three years are therefore not available.

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on the steps she has taken to ensure that the European Union devotes more of its resources to the poorest countries. [64690]

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Clare Short: In 2000, only 38 per cent. of EC aid was spent in low income countries compared to 70 per cent. a decade before. In November 2000 we secured adoption of an EC development policy which, for the first time, makes poverty reduction the central objective of EC development programmes. This new policy calls for priority in resource allocation to be given to low income countries and we continue to work for agreement on the budget allocations to implement this policy and have the greatest impact on poverty reduction. In particular we are working for an increase in allocations for Asia. We welcome the positive steps that have been taken to reform EC development assistance. This should help improve the rate of programme implementation, of particular importance to the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries where many of the world's poorest people live. But much remains to be done to improve the poverty focus and effectiveness of EC development assistance.

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