Vera Baird: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what information she has collated in respect of the humanitarian situation in the Sud Kivu region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and if she will make a statement. 
Clare Short: We are trying to monitor recent developments in Sud Kivu, particularly the renewed fighting in the Hauts Plateaux region, although the current insecurity and problems of access have made it difficult for the international community to obtain a full picture
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of what is happening. We are aware of the distressing humanitarian situation for the many people who appear to have been displaced by the recent fighting there. Together with the wider international community and the UN we are pressing for the cessation of all fighting in the eastern DRC, the full implementation of the Lusaka peace accords and for the armed groups to allow full humanitarian access to the areas affected.
We are helping to fund a range of humanitarian support in the Kivus through the UN and international NGOs. My officials are presently visiting this region to monitor progress on current projects, and for discussions with local and international NGOs on the scope for further DFID support for peace and reconciliation-related activities in the area.
Vera Baird: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment her Department has made of the importance of economic factors in respect of the continuing violence in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 
Clare Short: The primary factor in the continuing violence in eastern DRC is the absence of a political settlement between the main parties to the conflict and the attempt by forces that supported the genocide in Rwanda to invade the country. The final report of the UN Panel on resource exploitation in the DRC is due in the autumn. We shall study the report carefully and participate fully in the Security Council's deliberations on its recommendations. We are very conscious that the sad history of the Congo has meant that these resources have never been used for the benefit of the people of the Congo. We continue to believe that the surest way of converting resource exploitation into legitimate trade to benefit the Congolese people is to achieve an end to the conflict and restore peace in the region.
Vera Baird: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what representations her Department has made to (a) the Government of Rwanda and (b) the Rassemblement Congolais pour la DemocratieGoma on the importance of maintaining peace and security in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 
Clare Short: My Department maintains regular dialogue with all parties to the conflict in the DRC, including the Government of Rwanda and RCD-Goma. We strongly support the full implementation of the Lusaka accords in order to achieve a lasting peace for the DRC and the wider Great Lakes region.
Mr. David Atkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on the recent warning by the United Nations on the number of people in Angola facing starvation. 
Clare Short: According to the United Nations, half a million people are facing starvation in Angola and more than a million others are completely dependent on food aid for their survival. The end of the long running civil war has increased the number of people within the reach of the humanitarian agencies by between two million and three million in a matter of months. The needy are widely scattered, with a greater range of needs than ever before.
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We are trying to respond as quickly and flexibly as possible. We have so far contributed £1.7 million to the 2002 United Nations appeals for Angola to ensure that critical humanitarian needs are met and to assist in the reception areas for ex UNITA fighters and their families. We await a further UN appeal, which is due later this month. We have also committed over £2 million to the ICRC and MSF, who are at the forefront of the humanitarian response
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what reports she has received that refugees in the Tongogara camp have been sexually abused by relief workers affiliated to non-Governmental organisations. 
Clare Short: We understand that the allegations in this case, which relate to a camp in Zimbabwe, have been investigated and that two members of staff of the organisation involved have been dismissed.
Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) which non-Governmental organisations the Government are assisting to help small scale farmers revive maize production in Zimbabwe; and if she will make a statement on these projects;  (2) which non-Governmental organisations the Government are assisting to help poor farmers in the communal areas to increase food production in Zimbabwe; and if she will make a statement on these projects. 
Clare Short: The next season for dryland maize planting, which is mostly carried out by small scale farmers in the rural areas, starts in October. We are discussing with a number of NGOs proposals for inputs for planting, and will make allocations shortly.
Clare Short: The UK does not have extensive developmental links with Burundi. We are supporting international efforts to promote an end to conflict and achieve a secure and lasting peace, which we believe is a necessary prerequisite for sustained economic development. We are at the same time supporting humanitarian programmes through non-governmental channels.
The UK has pledged a contribution of just over $1 million towards the Burundi Multilateral Donor Trust Fund (MDTF). This has recently been established with the objective of providing transitional debt relief to Burundi during the period leading to its access to the Enhanced Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative, and to increased inflows of donor assistance. The MDTF will help enable the country's debt to international financial institutions to be serviced in a timely manner. This is supplementary to the £3 million we are planning to spend in bilateral assistance and our
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contributions to the EU in this financial year. We will also be posting a DFID representative to Burundi to help in the process of donor re-engagement there.
Vera Baird: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what information her Department has collated in respect of the recent numbers of extra-judicial killings by the Burundian army; and if she will make a statement. 
We are however aware of continuing fighting between the Burundian army and Burundian rebel groups and that there has been a recent escalation both around the capital in Bujumbura Rural province, and in the southeast of the country. We welcome the prospect of all the Burundian parties meeting later this month in Tanzania under the auspices of the Arusha Process facilitators to address outstanding issues delaying a full peace agreement.
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment she has made of the barriers preventing the transportation of the surplus in cereal production in northern Mozambique to areas of the country facing food shortages; what steps her Department is taking to overcome these barriers; and if she will make a statement. 
Clare Short: Along with relevant Government Departments, other donors and NGO's, DFID supported a recent FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission in Mozambique. The mission confirmed the forecast export surplus of about 100,000 tonnes of maize, available following increased cereal production in the northern region.
Compared with imported South African grain, high internal transport costs make it uncompetitive to move the maize surplus from the north to deficit areas in the south and parts of the central region. The shortfall in these areas is expected to be covered mainly by food aid and commercial imports. This strategy takes into account the regional context as well as consideration of the options for alleviation within Mozambique.
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions she has had with her counterparts in European Union countries on the World Health Organisation appeal for additional resources to help combat starvation in southern Africa. 
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